Protesters to Descend on Seaquarium on Anniversary of Lone Orca’s Capture

PETA 'Orcas' Will Lead Robust Call to 'Free Lolita,' Demand Sanctuary Retirement for Suffering Marine Mammal

For Immediate Release:
August 7, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

MiamiWhat:    Forty-seven years after Lolita was taken from her family in Puget Sound during a traumatic and violent whale hunt—and 37 years after her last tankmate, Hugo, died from injuries sustained when he rammed his head into the tiny tank’s concrete wall in an apparent suicide—a group of PETA “orcas” will gather outside the Miami Seaquarium to demand that she finally be granted refuge at a seaside sanctuary.”

When:    Tuesday, August 8, 12 noon

Where:    Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy. (at the intersection of Rickenbacker Causeway and Arthur Lamb Jr. Road), Key Biscayne

At just four times her length at its longest point, with a maximum depth of a paltry 20 feet, Lolita’s tank is the size of a teardrop to her,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on the Miami Seaquarium to dredge up a kernel of compassion and retire this ravaged orca to a coastal sanctuary, where she would at last be able to swim freely, dive deep, and communicate with her family members.”

Since 1970, Lolita has been trapped in the smallest orca tank in North America without protection from the sun and made to perform up to three times a day for visitors, and since 1980, she hasn’t had any contact with anyone who speaks her language. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—has joined prominent Miamians and concerned people from around the world in calling for her to be moved to a seaside sanctuary that’s waiting for her in her home waters, where she could interact with her family pod, including the orca believed to be her mother, who is still thriving in her 80s.

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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