There may be hope for Lolita yet! Lolita is an orca famous for her tragic story — a story that brings to light all of the evils that aquariums do behind the scenes. The Save Lolita website tells her story in the simplest, most heartbreaking way.
“A four-year-old killer whale named Tokitae was brutally taken from her mother in the Puget Sound and brought to the Miami Seaquarium where she was placed in a 35-foot wide tank and renamed ‘Lolita.’ She has lived there ever since.” It’s worth repeating that she has lived almost her entire life in what is literally the size of a bathtub to her. This year it will be approximately 47 years that she’s been a slave, whose lot in life has been determined as that of a performer and nothing more.
Activists have been fighting to free Lolita for years, and there have been a number of lawsuits that allege her tank is not up to regulations and there has even been considered that since she is the member of an orca pod listed as endangered, she should be privy to Endangered Species Act regulations that could permit her to return to the wild. Prior lawsuits have been denied, however, there may be increased hope for Lolita.
The Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine actually called the Miami Seaquarium on Lolita’s behalf — and to check in after Irma, since these captive animals had nowhere to run and no way to protect themselves.
He later tweeted about said call, using hashtags like #FreeLolita and #Blackfish. The Puget Sound is Lolita’s natural habitat, so this is a clear call to the aquarium to give this orca what she deserves!
The Mayor hasn’t confirmed any action or made any public plans, thus far, but it’s good to know that more eyes are on Lolita. The more negative attention brought to the Miami Seaquarium, the more likely they are to retire Lolita to a sanctuary. At the end of the day, they won’t change anything until their bottom dollar is affected.
This fight isn’t just about Lolita, though. It’s about baby orcas torn from their families. It’s about intelligent, emotional creatures being forced to live in tiny tanks with no protection from the sun, cared for by unqualified people. It’s about orcas being poorly paired together in tanks and then being allowed to fight and attack one another. This is about justice and standing against cruelty, no matter who it’s against.
Please share this story to show the Miami Seaquarium that the world is watching and that we won’t give up until Lolita is free.
Image source: Kamira/Shutterstock