Miami Seaquarium, Miami FL – Lolita’s Story
Lolita is a 42 year old captive killer whale (orca) living at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida. Since her brutal capture in 1970, she has been kept in a tank that is illegal by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) standards for size requirements. Lolita is approximately 21 feet long and 7,000 pounds. Her tank is 20 feet deep at the deepest point and a mere 12 feet deep around the edges. The pool is only 35 feet wide. The Miami Seaquarium is considered to be one of the most dilapidated aquatic parks in the world. It is in need of major repairs, and per the Marine Mammal Inventory Report, has a substantial death rate for their animals.
Lolita is housed with several small Pacific White-Sided dolphins and they perform one or two shows a day, depending on Seaquarium attendance. Please watch the video below to see Lolita’s life:
Many well intentioned people doubt that Lolita can be safely returned to Puget Sound. Some of the world’s top orca researchers and past releases of cetaceans show that captive animals can almost always be successfully reintroduced to their habitats.
In conjunction with Orca Network, we wish to see Lolita retired to a bay pen in her native waters off the coast of Washington State. There is a plan devised for her that would allow her to reside in a generously sized bay pen and be taken care of while slowly being re-acclimated to her natural waters. The plan is for her to get used to her natural surroundings while being able to interact with her family Southern Residents L-pod If she adapts well and chooses to do so, she may eventually be released to rejoin her pod. If for any reason she decides to return to the bay pen, she will be taken care of by humans for the rest of her life while still being able to live in a spacious, natural environment in close proximity to her wild relatives.
View Orca Network’s detailed Lolita’s Reintroduction Program,retirement plans for Lolita
Only a small hurdle remains in the way of Lolita’s retirement: Miami Seaquarium owners Arthur and Andrew Hertz. Regardless of announcements to build a new tank for Lolita, the Miami Seaquarium has instead focused its improvement projects in a different direction, by building a completely new facility called Dolphin Harbor, to take advantage of the lucrative “swim with the dolphins” craze. Despite Lolita’s importance to Seaquarium marketing, the focus now is the dolphin swim program. You can help: make phone calls, send letters, attend demonstrations, and attract media attention!