50 Years to the Day: ‘Orca’ in a Fishbowl Shames Anniversary of Lolita’s Capture

PETA Says Seaquarium Must Retire Her to a Seaside Sanctuary

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Miami – Fifty years to the day after the orca Lolita was abducted from her family off the coast of Washington, PETA supporters—including model and online influencer Natasha Araos and actor and Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado, and accompanied by a giant inflatable orca trapped in a fishbowl and holding “Free Lolita!” signs—will hold a vigil in downtown Miami to protest the Miami Seaquarium, where Lolita has spent five decades in the smallest orca tank in the world.

When:    Saturday, August 8, 12 noon

Where:    1221 Brickell Ave. (at the intersection with S.E. 12th Terrace), Miami

Lolita continues to be denied the opportunity to dive, swim more than 80 feet in any direction, seek shelter from the blazing summer sun, or form social relationships with any others of her own species. The other orca once kept in the same tank, Hugo, died after repeatedly ramming his head into a wall in 1980. Humans go mad after a short time when confined without any human companionship, and Lolita displays repetitive and abnormal behavior indicating severe psychological trauma.

“Lolita should have spent the last 50 years swimming alongside her family, raising young, and traversing a vast ocean home,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Miami Seaquarium to end her half century of suffering by retiring her to a seaside sanctuary now.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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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