For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Miami – Records just released from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reveal that six animals died in 2019 and 2020 at the Miami Seaquarium. Among them were two bottlenose dolphins and a sea lion, all of whom died from trauma-related causes—including to the head and neck with hemorrhaging—and a dolphin who drowned after getting caught in a net.
PETA is now asking the park to release full necropsy reports and any relevant behavioral records to the public. PETA has also requested additional records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has not cited the Miami Seaquarium over the deaths, even though NOAA alerted the agency to the pattern of trauma-related fatalities.
“Three dolphins endured horrific deaths at the Miami Seaquarium in just over a year, and the public deserves answers,” says PETA Foundation Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman. “Before another animal there dies horribly in a small tank, PETA is calling on the Miami Seaquarium to set in motion plans to send Lolita the orca and the other remaining dolphins to seaside sanctuaries.”
The Miami Seaquarium has a history of animal welfare issues, including its treatment of Lolita, who has been confined to a small, shallow, barren concrete tank for the past five decades, with no fellow orcas for more than 40 years. She displays repetitive and abnormal behavior, which, according to marine mammal experts, indicates severe psychological trauma.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.