Local Woman to Run 50-Mile Ultramarathon in Honor of Lolita the Orca

For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Pittsburgh – Local resident Maria Reviello will run the Baker Trail UltraChallenge race on Saturday to pay tribute to Lolita, the orca who died on August 18 after spending more than five decades imprisoned by the Miami Seaquarium in the smallest orca tank in the world and deprived of any semblance of a natural life. Reviello—a longtime vegan and animal rights advocate—will run to help raise money for PETA’s work to free other dolphins and whales still exploited by marine parks, including Corky, an orca captured the year before Lolita who is held captive by SeaWorld.

Maria Reviello Running to honor Lolita

“It takes a long time to run fifty miles, but it’s a flash in the pan compared to the more than 50 years of captivity that Lolita endured, lonely and far away from her pod and home waters,” says Reviello. “I’ll be remembering Lolita with every stride and helping PETA dig deep to spare Corky a similar fate in a tiny SeaWorld tank.”

Lolita was captured in the ocean in 1970. For decades, she lived at the Miami Seaquarium without another orca since her companion, Hugo, died in 1980 after repeatedly ramming his head into the tank’s wall, and she displayed repetitive and abnormal behavior indicating severe psychological trauma. Her death followed years of PETA protests, lawsuits, an endangered species designation, and the recent announcement that, thanks to philanthropist and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, plans were finally being made to move her to a seaside sanctuary.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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