Miami-Dade County Files Lawsuit to Compel the Seedy Seaquarium to Ship Out

Published by Danny Prater.
4 min read

Update (June 26, 2024): Officials in Miami-Dade County have taken the next step in the process to evict the notorious Miami Seaquarium! Yesterday, a lawsuit was filed against its owner, The Dolphin Company, to force it to vacate the grounds the park sits on.

Nails Dumped Outside Mayor’s Office in Push for Seaquarium’s Closure
A PETA protester dumps nails outside the Miami Seaquarium. Credit: PETA

The Dolphin Company has refused to leave the premises after the Seaquarium had its lease terminated in March and was served an eviction notice in April. PETA praises Miami-Dade County for defending vulnerable animals despite the Seaquarium’s delays.

You Can Help Animals Reach Sanctuaries

While we thank Miami-Dade County officials for this historic move, we urge them to move swiftly to ensure that the animals are all sent to reputable facilities.

Now, help other marine animals by urging SeaWorld to send the dolphins and whales it confines to seaside sanctuaries:

Originally published on January 22, 2024:

After a years-long PETA campaign that included lawsuits, celebrity ads, letters to county officials, and lively rallies, including one at the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Office—along with a decade of weekly protests by local activists—the county announced its move to revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s lease, marking the beginning of the end for this animal prison.

a group of PETA supporters protesting to close down Miami Seaquarium

PETA has champagne on ice and is preparing to celebrate the day the animals are finally freed from the dilapidated concrete tanks where the long-suffering orca Lolita and so many others lived and died in misery.

Compassionate people in Miami and around the world have joined with PETA and celebrities including Paulina Rubio, Kate del Castillo, Natasha Araos, Alicia Machado, Dr. Ana María Polo, Alan Cumming, and the late Bob Barker to raise awareness of the problems at the Seaquarium.

The Seaquarium recently received a Notice of Intent to Confiscate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding four marine mammals currently housed there—marking the first time the agency has taken such an action in 30 years. According to reports, county officials will work with the USDA to “chart the most appropriate course forward, always prioritizing the best interests of the animals” remaining at the marine park.

PETA Protest at The Miami Seaquarium Features Dolphin Mascot

You can join PETA in thanking Mayor Daniella Levine Cava for this exciting progress.

Why the Miami Seaquarium Lost Its Lease

The wretched Miami Seaquarium has failed the animals it imprisons for decades. It confined them to tiny, dilapidated enclosures and couldn’t be bothered to comply with even the minimum standards of care of the federal Animal Welfare Act. It continually violated its lease with the county by not complying with animal welfare laws—including through chronic and repeat violations documented by the USDA over the past two years and failing to maintain its meager structures on the property.

The world watched as the Seaquarium let the lone orca Lolita waste away and die, allowed animals to eat trash in crumbling enclosures, and ignored its attending veterinarian’s instructions until she finally resigned.

Four parrots who were suffering at the Miami Seaquarium were moved to the Peaceable Primate Sanctuary in Indiana.

PETA is helping to fund the construction of the birds’ spacious new enclosures at the facility.

Unsurprisingly, the parrots weren’t well cared for at the Seaquarium. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had previously cited the facility for holding birds in enclosures with rusted metal, bubbling and flaking paint, and a “strong noxious odor permeating the air.” Other citations addressed three of these birds’ excessive self-plucking, noting that such behavior indicates “psychological distress,” as well as the facility’s failure to provide the highly intelligent birds with species-specific environmental enrichment. It also appears that at least two of the parrots are currently infected with “parrot wasting disease,” which can cause birds to exhibit tremors, paralysis, self-mutilation, aggression, and seizures, among other symptoms. At their new sanctuary home, they’ll receive proper care, healthy food, and appropriate social housing.

More than 100 dolphins and two orcas, Lolita and Hugo, lived and died at the Miami Seaquarium in misery.

After more than 50 years of miserable animals and false promises to clean up its act, the Seaquarium’s impending shutdown is overdue, and PETA looks to Miami-Dade County authorities to keep up the good work by ensuring that the animals held are sent to reputable facilities where they’ll get the care they so desperately need.

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