Miami Seaquarium Announces Plan to Return Long-Suffering Orca Lolita to the Ocean

Published by PETA.

During a news conference held in Miami on March 30, the Miami Seaquarium confirmed that it plans to release the long-suffering orca Lolita (aka “Tokitae,” “Toki,” and “Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut”)—who has been kept in a tiny tank for over 50 years—to a seaside sanctuary in Washington state in roughly 18 to 24 months! This announcement follows a massive campaign by PETA—which has pursued several lawsuits on her behalf—and local residents and celebrities that raised awareness of her plight through dozens of protests as well as The Dolphin Company’s partnership with Friends of Toki. This work has been made possible through the generosity of philanthropist Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts.

Lolita at Miami Seaquarium

Lolita was abducted from her home nearly 53 years ago and has been languishing in the world’s smallest orca tank ever since. She has been without the companionship of another orca since 1980, has had very little stimulation and no opportunity to engage meaningfully in most natural orca behavior, and spends her days floating listlessly. This historic initiative to send her to a seaside sanctuary sends a message to marine parks like SeaWorld that the days of confining highly intelligent, far-ranging marine mammals to dismal prisons are over!

Free lolita protest

'Orca' in Fishbowl Shames 50th Anniversary of Lolita's Capture
Thank you to every kind person who has spoken up for Lolita and other animals suffering in marine prisons. This success wouldn’t have been possible without your help and support.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind