Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

PETA Continues Fight for Lolita

Written by PETA | October 12, 2012

The fight to free Lolita, the lone captive orca at the Miami Seaquarium, continues: PETA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the Orca Network, and private citizens concerned about Lolita’s living conditions have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), challenging its outrageous decision to renew the Seaquarium’s federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) license. 

Failing Lolita—and the Law

The AWA, which the USDA is charged with enforcing, prohibits licensing a facility that is out of compliance with the act. Yet the Seaquarium keeps Lolita without the company of another orca in a tank so small that it fails to meet the minimum legal size requirements and also offers no protection from the burning sun—all violations of the law.

In nature, where Lolita’s mother still thrives at more than 80 years of age, orcas live in tight family units, with bonds that may last a lifetime. At the Seaquarium, Lolita swims in endless circles in a tiny barren cement tank. This highly intelligent and social wild animal has been without an orca companion since 1980, when her tank mate, Hugo, died of a brain aneurysm after reportedly ramming his head into the side of their tank, in what many believe to be a desperate attempt to break out of the tank—or even commit suicide.


© Terrell C. Newby, Ph.D.

Lolita was violently captured during a roundup of the now-endangered Southern Resident killer whales off the coast of Washington State’s Whidbey Island.

What You Can Do

Please send a polite e-mail to Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, eastern regional director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA, asking that the agency revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license. Also, never, ever visit any marine park or aquarium.

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  • katterina gibbons says:

    free lolita

  • Marion Tooten says:

    Free Lolita!!

  • Isa says:

    Please free her so she can live her own life the way she wanted…

  • Susan Morse says:

    Please give this poor Orca a chance to live free and experience life as she was meant to!!!

  • jane says:

    please save lolita!

  • Christiane Prevel says:

    Mankind has no right on the animals! Free Lolita, in the name of human’s dignity!!!

  • Razmig Karamanoukian says:

    Please free Lolita. She deserves to live with her family just like all living creatures.

  • Janis Bradley says:

    free lolita to live in the wild!!

  • Alina says:

    Set Lolita free and gibe her the life she was made for!!! Stop using animals for Entertainment of the humans!

  • Mary Louise Pauli says:

    Lolita should never have been taken into captivity. Now is the time to provide some remedy for this action through a humane release. Please do this. Thank you.

  • Suzinn Weiss says:

    Dear Dr. Goldentyer, In this day and age we should not be capturing whales for the entertainment of the masses. In fact we should not be capturing ANY animals for our pleasure. Keeping Lolita alone and without comfort of her kind is totally inhuman. What message are you sending children when you keep an unhappy animal for pure profit! Free Lolita so that she can live in the company of her mother and her pod.

  • Roberta says:

    Lolita belongs in the wide open ocean where she came from, NOT in a small environment!! Please let her live the rest of her life free, and to swim anywhere she wants, not around and around and around in circles!

  • gg says:

    so sad! be alone the hole life……….. noone is that execpt she. she would have it 10000 times better if she could have a friend atleast:(((((((((((((((

  • thomas says:

    so sad! be alone the hole life……….. noone is that execpt she. she would have it 10000 times better if she could have a friend atleast:(((((((((((((((

  • donna says:

    Please have compassion for this animal and do what’s best for her. Whales belong in the ocean, not a fish bowl.

  • Agnieszka Dudek says:

    Free Lolita !!!!!

  • Lisa D'Antonio says:

    Please set Lolita free so she can have a happy life!!!!

  • Siddharth says:

    Why do we not understand that there can be nothing better than to see a creature in its natural environment in its natural behaviour. These airheads can rather organize for trips for the people to make them better understand as to what exactly the particular creature is like. and, if at all, display is the need of the hour, since they are so proud of they being the humans, why not they are put in a cage and displayed all around ?!? But no, since these dumbs walk on TWO FEET !!!!

  • Anja De Craecker says:

    Set Lolita and all animals free. They should not be locked!!! Sick people!!

  • Mona says:

    Ville dyr skal ikke være i fangenskap

  • Marga says:

    Please free Lolita. Who gives you the right to keep a wild life animal captive

  • Audrey Yingling says:

    Leave the animlas that belong in the wild in the wild, figure a new way to make your money.

  • Claire Barnes says:

    Please release this poor animal! Its torture and it deserves to live a long happy life in natural surroundings. Poor animal.

  • Linda Nelson says:

    A whale in captivity slamming head into glass to escape or possible suicide? Well that is going to haunt me! Please stop this!

  • eilan regan says:

    Please end this brutality now. Thank you.

  • eilan regan says:

    Please end this brutality now. Thank you.

  • Jenn says:

    Please release Lolita and revoke the exhibitor license. This is cruel and inhumane. Do the right thing, animals in these circumstances, need a voice, as they can speak for themselves. People do anything for money, and its ashame on behalf of the animals in captivity. They are meant to be in the wild and free. Not an amusement park!! Please re-consider.

  • Amber says:

    Please let her live the rest of her days in freedom!

  • Manpreet Singh says:

    Please set it free.

  • Sebastian says:

    USA is supossed to be defend freedom; but just for a few? Even animals should be benefitiated of this beautiful and fair right defended in the US! Please reconsider your desition and act based on the basic rights our country proclames.

  • Linda Nelson says:

    A whale in captivity slamming head into glass to escape or possible suicide? Well that is going to haunt me! Please stop this!

  • LMartin says:

    Keeping Lolita locked in her tank is SLAVERY and is cruel. This majestic Orca deserves a better life than what she has at the Miami Seaquarium. Shame on you for keeping Lolita a captive for your pleasure and profit.

  • Jannet says:

    Please free Lolita!!!

  • Kassia says:

    Set her free!

  • Pierre Gougerot says:

    This is too sad and unfair. Revoke the Miami Seaqaurium’s exhibitor license because what they are doing is cruel and in humane. Animals deserve to be free, in the wild.

  • Bhaskar Chatterjee says:

    Please, do whats right. They were born to be FREE not held up in any sort of captivity…Please help save this life.

  • Dominique Sempere says:

    In nature, where Lolita’s mother still thrives at more than 80 years of age, orcas live in tight family units, with bonds that may last a lifetime. At the Seaquarium, Lolita swims in endless circles in a tiny barren cement tank. This highly intelligent and social wild animal has been without an orca companion since 1980, when her tank mate, Hugo, died of a brain aneurysm after reportedly ramming his head into the side of their tank, in what many believe to be a desperate attempt to break out of the tank—or even commit suicide.

  • Ariana James says:

    I’m appalled and heartbroken. I implore you to do the right thing and set Lolita free. Please revoke Miami Seaquarium exhibitor license. To those that work there and supposedly have Lolita’s best interest at heart, shame on you.

  • Shannon says:

    Free Lolita!

  • Monika Kielan says:

    Please free Lolita!!!! Her’s natural pleace is in the wild!

  • Ayesha says:

    This is sick

  • Dolly says:

    I would so love to write an email, but the link does not work. Can someone pls post the adress?

  • Alexis says:

    Please release Lolita. This is inhumane and as nature would have it, she needs to be with other Orcas. Having her in this captivity is detrimental to her health as shown by the actions of fellow Orca, Hugo. Please also revoke the exhibitor license.

  • Nikki Kirk says:

    It’s very cruel to keep this poor animal cooped up in a small tank. Lolita should be swimming in the ocean with other whales. How would you like it if you were put in a small tank for over thirty years?

  • Teodora says:

    Is time to think on what is the right thing to do and stop being selfish, cruel and greedy… Lolita is silently suffering. Please revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license and bring some happiness and freedom to Lolita, she surely deserves it (as many others)

  • Kristin says:

    This is just wrong is so many ways. This amazing animal doesn’t deserve the life she has right now. She needs to be set free.

  • Jacqueline says:

    FREE LOLITA STOP EXPLOITING HER FOR GREEDY PORFITS SHE BELONGS BACK IN THE OCEAN NOT IN A GENARIC AQUARIUM IT’S BAD ENOUGH YOU ALREADY KILLED THE OTHER DOLPHINS AND WHALES YOU HAD IN CAPTIVITY YOU MAKE ME SICK!!!!!!

  • lauren beebe says:

    Need we say more: In nature, where Lolita’s mother still thrives at more than 80 years of age, orcas live in tight family units, with bonds that may last a lifetime.

  • caroline says:

    Set the poor Lolita free…

  • Soonermom says:

    Free this sad lonely animal for the sake of love. Take a stand for doing the right thing and God will bless you even more. Money is not everything!