Naked “Orcas” Arrested During Lolita Protest at Miami Airport

Published by Craig Shapiro.

Two PETA “orcas” wearing little more than black-and-white body paint and shackles were arrested today and taken away in handcuffs after climbing on top of the baggage carousels at Miami International Airport to demand that the Miami Seaquarium free Lolita.

Lolita protest at Miami Airport

Lolita protest at Miami Airport

Lolita protest at Miami Airport

Lolita protest at Miami Airport

The “orcas” wanted everyone to know that while we can travel anywhere we want, Lolita has been denied her freedom for nearly half a century.

Lolita was abducted from her pod in the Puget Sound in 1970 and has been imprisoned at the Miami Seaquarium—in the smallest orca tank in North America—ever since. She has no protection from the sun, likely a violation of the Endangered Species Act. She’s spent the last 36 years alone, ever since her tankmate, Hugo, died when he deliberately rammed his head into the tank’s concrete walls.

Sad Lolita

Orcas like those in Lolita’s pod—including one who is believed to be her mother—are highly social, stay with their mothers for life, swim up to 100 miles a day, and dive thousands of feet below the surface.

Captivity takes a physical and psychological toll on orcas: They swim listlessly in circles, ram the sides of their tanks, and destroy their teeth by chewing on the metal bars of their prisons. All captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, which is rarely seen in their free-roaming counterparts.

What You Can Do

You can help free Lolita by urging the Miami Seaquarium’s parent company to retire her to a coastal sanctuary. Please also avoid any marine park or aquarium that exploits orcas or any other marine animals for entertainment. And tell your family and friends why they should do the same.

Lolita protest at Miami Airport

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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