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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.
© 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.

Commenting is closed.
  • Jacinte Lavoie says:

    no one likes to be jailed even in an aquarium

  • Maren Hehlke says:

    Please set her free! She is not made to be a captive! No animal should suffer because of human beings, so make a sign and give her a better life!

  • julie says:

    I often wonder why ‘ people’??? can be so cruel and distgusting. How would they feel if this torture was acted upon them? Its time all this horror ended but how do we stop these imbeciles that do not deserve to be called human as they have no humanity. I hope they suffer a similar fate sooner rather than later

  • Marta Alves says:

    Set Lolita free….

  • Lanka Adikari says:

    Dear Dr.Elzabeth, Animals were not made for human entertainment or consumption. They have the freedom just as we do to roam freely and live their lives without disturbance. If you want your children to live good lives, please note that animals are also as helpless as little children. Kindly Help not only his beautiful animal but their race..they need our help..thats why we are human..we can HELP OURSELVES AND OTHERS. Regards/Lanka

  • sylvia day says:

    Please show compassion, these animals are meant to live in groups, how would you like to live in solitary confinement for the rest of your life?

  • boatybabe says:

    Can’t say anything that hasn’t alrready been said, its simple really, we all feel the same so FREE LOITA.

  • Valerie Fagundes says:

    Free Lolita, we don’t want her in captivity!!

  • Nancy Laurentia says:

    Free Lolita.! Return her to mother nature. Human greed is beyond understanding :-((

  • Joyce Yore says:

    Here we go again, begging people to do what is right, PLEASE FREE LOLITA. Thank you.

  • Sullene says:

    Set Lolita free!!! how would you like to be taken from your home? Have a heart!

  • Jen says:


  • Dora Tanner says:

    Set Lolita free!!Animals were not put on Earth to be used for experiments,amusement or physical abuse. The time is now to put an end to it all!!

  • Giridhar says:

    Set Lolita free, she was born to be wild.

  • Christine says:

    The email address displayed for Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer is showing up as invalid when I try to email her and request the license be revoked. Please let me know a correct address so I along with other people can contact her ASAP. Thanks.

  • Kim says:

    Please show some compassion for this beautiful creature who was meant to live with her family in the open water where she has freedom to go where she chooses to go and be happy.

  • Ricky says:

    Set Lolita FREE!!!!!!

  • Adair Leonard says:

    Another case of extreme cruelty. No compassion!

  • sana says:

    Please set Lolita free….

  • Kata says:


  • Mathew Raward says:

    Freedom is a gift and one that we are all entitled too!

  • Lisa wright says:

    Please revoke the Miami sea aquariums exhibitor license. Please set Lolita free it is terribly unethical and inhumane what is going on. She should not be there alone or expected to be kept in such awful conditions. Please do the right thing and set her free.

  • jean thornley says:

    let lolita go shes not yours to keep

  • Jouliana says:

    It seems every day we’re becoming a little less human. Be the voice these animal’s don’t have and end this brutality

  • gargowitsch says:

    sa fait des année qu’on se ba pour la mal traitement des animaux il y a u Brigitte bardot qui a u le courage de quitter le métier du cinéma pour la cause des animaux je pense au commandent cousteau est bien d autre je constate que les années passe est rien ne change est les pouvoirs qui sont au pouvoirs ne font rien pour combattre se fléau le faite de priver de liberté un animal est déjà une forme de mal traitance moi j’ai décider pour combattre se fléau de ne pas posséder d’animaux de ne plus fréquenter les ZOO est les spectacle ou des animaux sont représenter je crois que c le seul fa sont de le combattre mai sachet que de toute fa sont on le payera un jour si nous faisons rien c au-jour d’hui qui faut se battre je vous souhaite bonne continuation dans notre combat qui concerne tout le monde

  • mary says:

    It is all about money and it is shame that we humans use animals to profit and to entertain.

  • shizuka says:

    シャチを水族館に送らないで! 水族館なんていらない!

  • Prisila says:

    Keeping an orca captive in an enclosed aquarium is almost the same as trapping a human in a room. It restricts a life form’s need of freedom and that is simply unethical.

  • Lynette says:

    Please do the right thing and free Lolita!

  • All the way from Australia says:

    Orca are intelligent and highly social individuals. Thriving in Organised, immediate and extended family groups. When you remove an animal from its natural enviroment and allow it to be subjected to this confined and anti-social enclosure it is severe neglect of the animals right to live a free and happy life as nature intended. You cannot defeat mother nature and animals should not have to try and force themselves to. Someone always ends up getting hurt or dying and the animal is forced to live a life of constant repression and conformity. Struggling against the way evolution has designed it to feel and behave instead being forced to conform to how a human thinks they need to behave.

  • Annie says:

    FREE LOLITA!!! I don’t think this is humane or right and every animal Has the right of freedom and a great life!

  • Dorothy L Davies says:

    Please revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license.

  • Gail Colby says:

    Where is your humane conscience? This poor mammal needs to be with like kind mammals.

  • Tania says:

    Set Lolita FREE!!!!

  • laura says:

    please have some compassion!

  • Isabel says:

    Please please a part of Mexico is asking you to set Lolita free

  • Florencia says:

    Help Lolita! set her free, we shouldn’t use animals for human amusement or entertainment, they also deserve a free life.

  • Barbara Greenlief says:

    It is a crime to allow Miami Seaquarium to keep a lone orca imprisioned away from other orcas. This is like putting one of us in solitary confinement for years on end. This intelligent animal is languishing away because man is once again wielding its horrible power. Where is the respect for nature?

  • Joanna says:

    Animals deserve to be free, in the wild, please can you do whatever you can to see the safe release of Lolita.

  • Lynwen says:

    Set this Mammal free and release her back into the waters that her family swims in. She has been in captivity long enough and deserves to be free. If you have any compassion you will do this. Let her be free of the aquarium that is her jail, and let her do what comes natural, to swim in the ocean and enjoy her life.

  • Ilona says:

    free lolita!!!

  • teresa godich says:

    please set this orca free it deserves to be in the open sea

  • Leslie Knopf says:

    Please free this captive for so long lonely whale. She is being held in a situation that is damaging to her. As you know whales are very intelligent creatures. Please revoke the miami seaquariams exhibitors license and have this beautiful whale freed back to the wild where she belongs. It is the rght and humane thing to do!

  • Leslie Knopf says:

    Please free this captive for so long lonely whale. She is being held in a situation that is damaging to her. As you know whales are very intelligent creatures. Please revoke the miami seaquariams exhibitors license and have this beautiful whale freed back to the wild where she belongs. It is the rght and humane thing to do!

  • Rebecca Ewens says:

    No living creature should be forced to live in such a cruel environment.

  • Torito Keoni LeBord says:

    Please do what is right. As a First Nation American, I am appalled at how we as a culture continue to mistreat our animal brothers and sisters. Please help Lolita by revoking Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license.

  • M1 says:

    what Matters is that the people who have so called love for animals need to iagine how it would be for YOU to locked in ‘in a place’ where you do not have the ability to move freely where you would like to go, where you can be with the same spacies as you are or even more.. !(*) if that is true: over 35 years YOU need to obliged what OTHERS(YOU personel) WAnts you toDO entertain THE AUDIENCE… It is a disgrace no respect at all! PLEASE CONCIDER what is the best option for the Orca, although probably old of age give her/him this Chance OF FREEDOM….as long it may last, please look in your hart because this is a sad story aswell for others that do not belong in locked enviroment. EVERYTime you women and men go home think about this when you look all those animals in there and feel, see how the Orca and the others are suffering. And this is only to make other people(audience)so called happy…HAppYy..well it is NOT. Analise your Ego and whats right…HELP animals of all species in anyway you will make you feel better, the world and anything in it. Thank you for your attention with respect

  • JuanMiguel says:

    Please free Lolita and close the Aquarium. Animals are not for exhibition, otherwise, where’s the human zoo?

  • Samantha says:

    Unfortunatly after so many years alone and in a tiny tank she probably would not survive in the wild, however she should be taken somewhere to rehabilitate with other orca’s and possibly be in at least a semi-wild environment with people that can properly take care of her and eventually be released with a family group.

  • joey baggadonuts says:

    let lolita live in the wild with her mother, its not our place to cage these or any other animals ,