At Seaquarium Owner’s Meeting, PETA to Call for Lolita’s Move to Sanctuary

Let's Reinvent Parks to Glorify the Ocean, Not Traumatize Its Inhabitants, Says PETA

For Immediate Release:
March 15, 2017

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Miami – PETA, which owns stock in Parques Reunidos—the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium as well as Marineland in Antibes, France—will ask the company to retire Lolita and the other orcas at its facilities to seaside sanctuaries at Parques Reunidos’ annual meeting on Thursday. PETA will note that Lolita—the only orca at the Miami Seaquarium—has spent nearly half a century in a tank so small that it fails to meet even the minimum size required by the federal Animal Welfare Act. She’s been alone since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo, died in an apparent suicide after ramming his head into the tank wall.

“Lolita has been called the world’s loneliest orca because of the decades that she has been forced to spend in a tiny tank without any orca companionship,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “She and the other orcas held captive by Parques Reunidos have suffered long enough. It’s time to retire them to seaside sanctuaries, where they can enjoy a more natural life and be rehabilitated for potential release into their ocean homes.”

Recent photos of the four orcas imprisoned at Marineland show animals covered with bite marks and other injuries, likely from aggressive interactions caused by their cramped living conditions. In contrast to their lives in captivity—where they can only swim in small circles and their families are torn apart—orcas in the ocean have lifelong relationships and swim up to 100 miles every day.

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

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

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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“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