Seaquarium to Face Scrutiny Over Orcas at Annual Meeting

PETA Will Urge the Company to Free Lolita, Other Marine Mammals From Cramped Tanks

For Immediate Release:
March 20, 2018

David Perle 202-483-7382


“When will Parques Reunidos retire the orcas at Marineland and the Miami Seaquarium, release them into protected sea sanctuaries, and reinvent the parks with attractions glorifying the ocean, rather than traumatizing its inhabitants?” That’s the question that PETA, as a stockholder, will ask at the annual meeting of Parques Reunidos—the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium and owner of Marineland—on March 21 in Madrid.

In its statement, PETA will note that Lolita—the only orca at the Miami Seaquarium—has spent nearly half a century in a tiny tank, where she’s been without the companionship of her species since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo, died in an apparent suicide after ramming his head into the tank wall. Another four are imprisoned at Marineland Antibes in France, where the orca Wikie made headlines this year after audio recordings showed that she’s learned to mimic human speech—yet she has nothing to do but swim in circles and perform circus tricks.

“Orca researchers have endorsed seaside sanctuaries, where Lolita and the other orcas at Parques Reunidos’ parks could feel waves, hear wild pods, and finally have some semblance of a natural life,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on the company to free these long-suffering marine mammals from lives of misery and deprivation in tiny theme-park tanks.”

Support for Lolita’s move to a coastal sanctuary is growing: Just this month, members of the Lummi Nation of Washington, whose land includes Lolita’s home waters, teamed up with former Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine to call for her release, which the Lummi are calling a “sacred obligation.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—purchased stock in Parques Reunidos last year specifically so that it could influence management decisions from the inside and liaise with other shareholders.

PETA’s full shareholder question is available upon request. For more information, please visit

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