- There will be a PETA-hosted protest outside the Miami Seaquarium (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami FL), on behalf of Lolita the orca’s retirement from 43 years in a tiny tank. The peaceful demonstration will be from noon to 1 pm on Tuesday May 21, 2013. Please feel free to bring/make your own signs, but also some will be provided. Invite friends and other compassionate people.
- If you have ever wondered what Lolita’s performances look like (and don’t want to give your money to the Seaquarium to actually witness it), check out this heartbreaking video that demonstrates the size of her tank as she leaps and splashes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=BUJOEEhYb1s&NR=1
- A great opportunity for Lolita’s cause to win $30,000: Please vote daily in the BiLLe Celebrity Challenge. The winning non-profit will get a large donation from the European Lotto. Last month, Sam Simon, co-creator of the Simpsons, won on behalf of the Free Morgan Project (to benefit captive orca Morgan at Loro Parque in Spain). The month before Ric O’Barry won for SaveJapanDolphins! This month we hope Lolita will win! Please vote by clicking daily for Robin Williams/OrcaNetwork to win Lolita’s courtcase this huge donation.
- Coming up soon in July 2013: The World-Wide Empty the Tanks protests held in several countries and states, including Chicago, Miami, San Diego, Ontario, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio and more to peacefully protest dolphins and whales being held in captivity for entertainment purposes. Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/EmptyTheTanksAnnualProtest?fref=ts
- To stay up to date on this information and participate in discussion, please “like” our page on Facebook, Free Lolita the Orca: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Lolita-the-Orca/387603607109
In loving memoriam – her name was “Cathi”
Her name was Cathi. That is what we humans and the trainers and staff of Miami Seaquarium called her and the name she learned to respond to. Far different from the name she was born with. That name was a series of clicks and whistles recognized by her pod until that tragic, fateful day. On November 2, 1971, Cathi was swimming freely in the ocean with her pod, chasing waves, hunting and eating fish, playing with pod mates; seemingly without a care in the world. She was young, vibrant, happy and alive. Then suddenly, she was being chased by a boat and captured in a net and hauled into that boat. Her cries and frantic pleas for help to her pod mates went unanswered. Or, maybe they did try to answer and they were powerless to come to her rescue against one of the few predators of her species. On that horrible, fateful day she was plucked from her vast, blue home in the ocean, in the waters off Key Biscayne, Florida and sent to a new home. That new ‘home” was a small circular tank at a place called the Miami Seaquarium. It is hard to imagine the terror she must have felt inside when that net trapped her and suddenly limited her ability to move. She must have been very confused, scared and lonely. I was two months old when Cathi was captured.
From the early 1960’s, the Miami Seaquarium was in the habit of naming the dolphins it would use in its “Flipper” series either “Cathi” or “Samantha” (aka Sammy for short). Most of those dolphins were caught in the waters of Biscayne Bay on the coast of Southeastern Florida. The dolphins were sometimes injured during the capture process and they were immediately placed in a medical tank until their survival from the experience was ensured. Once the Seaquarium staff was sure the dolphin would survive, they were moved to another tank where they began their training. Some of the dolphins would die within hours, some within a few days and some would go on to perform for years. The list from the Marine Mammal Inventory Report is a sad and sorry sight. “Florida Snowball” was captured on October 22nd, 1965 and died on October 25th, 1965. The dolphin named “Pancho” was caught on January 1, 1970 and survived in captivity for 12 years, 17 days¹. “Pancho” was famous for his flips in his tank at the east end zone of the Orange Bowl stadium when the Miami Dolphins would score a touchdown or field goal. Pancho was eventually retired from that post and returned to the Miami Seaquarium. Pancho’s death was attributed to “intestinal failure”. He died on January 17, 1982 and his stomach contents included 2 deflated footballs, 31 coins, 21 stones, 1 trainers whistle, 10 penny nail, 2 screws, 1 metal tag, 1 piece of wire, 1 metal staple and several unidentifiable objects². Such is the life of a dolphin in captivity. Captive dolphins live a life of endless boredom; swimming in circles and performing the same routine twice daily every single day. Imagine a life of the same routine day in and day out, week after week, month after month, year after year, never able to leave that small place of confinement. Dolphins are highly inquisitive and intelligent by their very nature. Any items thrown into their tank becomes a new toy or object of amusement, even if only briefly. Frequently, objects are ingested and cause intestinal obstructions, infections and other problems. Cathi’s fate would not be a death from endless boredom and intestinal issues. She would not die from pneumonia or the various other infections she would have from time to time throughout her life. Cathi would have many babies as part of a breeding program, but few would go on to survive. Cathi was stubborn and strong spirited; she was a survivor and when she finally died, it would be from old age. In the industry of captive entertainment, amusement parks and breeding programs, Cathi could be used as an example of success; and yet she wasn’t. Her death was denied and kept a secret, her name quickly forgotten. There will be no commemorative plaques or dedications to her for her lifelong service to those that profited from her captivity. There will be no acknowledgement of her existence at all, other than her name appearing on the Marine Mammal Inventory Report. Was her loss even mourned or felt by the profiteers at Miami Seaquarium?
I first met Cathi on January 19, 2011. I’m sure I had encountered her previously as a small child in the visits I had to Miami Seaquarium, but it wasn’t until my eyes were opened as an adult that I decided I needed to go see for myself how pitiful the lives of captive dolphins were that I became familiar with Cathi. At the time that I met Cathi, she lived in the tank of dolphin lobby at Miami Seaquarium and performed in the top deck dolphin show twice a day. Her tank mates included her daughter, Samantha, a singular male named J.J., a spritely younger dolphin named “Disco Denise” and another dolphin’s name I cannot at this time recall. Cathi was the most easily recognizable of the five dolphins in the tank of dolphin lobby. She swam in circles with her right eye closed and had a scar from an old laceration just below her dorsal fin on her right side. Cathi also had what I would come to call “corrosion” on her rostrum, an area of tissue necrosis that was anything but attractive. The tip of her rostrum (nose) was discolored, appeared to have mold and also looked as though something had eaten away small chunks of it. Her daughter, Samantha has a similar disease process. After that visit, I contacted a friend of mine, a marine biology student and talked to her about the dolphins in the tank. She suggested I bring a mirror to help ease the boredom of the dolphins and provide them with amusement. It was a wonderful idea! My future visits, I brought my trusty mirror and got to know the dolphins in the tank of dolphin lobby and I suspect some of them began to recognize me. Most interested in the mirror was Samantha; she loved to look at herself and the mirror was like a magnet to her. Denise loved it too and sometimes Samantha and Denise would compete for who could squeeze in front of it more. At one point or another, all the dolphins would come and take a look at themselves, all but one. Cathi never came and looked in the mirror. Cathi was always oblivious to the crowds gathered at the windows. She swam in circles and paid no attention to the people or the crowds. Sometimes she swam quickly, as if to escape from the endless staring and tapping on the glass and sometimes she kept more to the center of the tank, swimming in her circles slowly, perhaps taking a break or resting. Cathi paid attention to the trainers and to the fish she was given during performances, other than that, it appeared that her life was a series of endless circles. She would interact with J.J. and Samantha the most and sometimes, she would rub herself on the ever dirty pipes at the bottom of the tank as some form of tactile stimulation. I have come to learn that dolphins in the wild require a lot of tactile stimulation and frequently rub against each other for social interaction and affection. It became horribly sad to me that Cathi turned to an inanimate object like dirty filtration pipes to satisfy her need for her tactile stimulation. What a far cry it must have been from those rubs of affection she would have frequently received from her pod mates in her former life in the wild. I often wonder if she ever yearned for the affection of her former life. Did she miss swimming free in the ocean, the world as her play place without borders, boundaries or limitations?
On that first visit to Miami Seaquarium, I obtained an annual pass. It was free as part of a promotion for Florida residents. I visited Miami Seaquarium frequently, as often as I could and I would take pictures and document what I thought might be health issues or perhaps violations of the Animal Welfare Act. I began writing to the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service about Lolita, her tank and what I perceived to be violations of the AWA regarding Lolita’s tank and stadium and I frequently wrote regarding Lolita’s welfare and the welfare of the other animals too. My primary purpose was to try to help Lolita. I have since come to believe that the USDA/APHIS is useless as a government agency and even though they have been provided with ample proof of violations, they will never admit to it. USDA/APHIS is like the person that can never admit they are wrong and never offer an apology. Their interpretation of the law is the final and last word, even if the law quite clearly defines itself and they will write their nice little responses and remain polite and draw diagrams and quote statements and citations and furnish copies of inspection reports (even ones that disagree with what they tell you and support your argument!) and the list goes on and on and on, but they will never and I do mean NOT EVER admit that they are wrong or apologize. So along on my quest to help Lolita, I was able to get to know a few dolphins and while I am opposed to the captive entertainment industry, I will shamefully admit that there were times I looked forward to my time with the dolphins in dolphin lobby and playing with the mirrors and lights. Dare I say, I even enjoyed those moments with them, although I always left Miami Seaquarium feeling sad, frustrated and heavy hearted. Feeling the oppression of all of the magnificent creatures in their dilapidated and unnatural surroundings is incredibly emotionally draining and downright depressing. I could never work in a place like that.
It was from my visits to Miami Seaquarium and talking about it that I started to get to know people. Some of them were former employees of the Seaquarium itself and I started to learn a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the world of marine park entertainment. I started asking questions about Cathi. I wanted to know why she wouldn’t open her right eye. Did she have an eye or did she lose it?? Why wouldn’t she take an interest in the mirror and why did she rub on those pipes for tactile stimulation when she shared her tank with four other dolphins? Unfortunately, most of those questions are questions that only Cathi would be able to answer. Her medical records are unattainable as they are considered confidential because she was not by law an individual, but rather she was a piece of property, a number on an inventory report, a dollar sign for an amusement park, and as she aged and became infirm, she was no longer a dollar sign, but a liability. A couple of people that knew Miami Seaquarium, Cathi and/or the industry tried as best as they could to answer my questions. One answer I received was “she doesn’t want to look at anyone. She’s sick of it and prefers to ignore it and refuses to open her eye.” Having observed her many times and interacting with her tank mates, I could see the reasoning behind that conclusion. I never saw her swim in the other direction with her left eye looking out. She always swam so that we could only see her right side. Another person told me that her eye was closed because of the chlorine in the tanks and that over time, she had probably had multiple eye infections and that the chlorine burns their eyes and irritates the eyes of captive mammals. Their tanks are salt water tanks, but chlorine must be added to keep bacteria, fungi and microbial growth to a minimum. Multiple infections over the course of her life in captivity made a lot of sense too. Whether it was one or the other or a combination of both, it was a unique part of Cathi and gave me greater understanding into Lolita too, as Lolita only rarely opens her eyes. What I would not give to have been able to look into Cathi’s eye(s) just once to acknowledge her; to let her know that I did care that she was taken from her life in the wild and that I wished her life would have been different.
Not only was Cathi a part of the entertainment industry, she was also part of Miami Seaquarium’s animal husbandry program. Cathi was a breeding machine. She performed day in and day out, whether she was sick or not and whether she was pregnant or not for nearly forty years. Cathi was a mother and a grandmother. In honor of Cathi and her life, I will list her calves with dates of birth and death (if applicable) from what I have been able to find from ceta-base.com:
name: Jessica (F)
name: Ivan (M)
name: Samantha (F)
name: Tori (F)
name: Unnamed 1992
name: Ripley (M)
name: Orion (M)
name: Abaco (M)
If Cathi had been a human being and had her story been written, the world would lament that such an act of atrocity akin to slavery could occur in this day and age and we would have admired her strength and courage and ability to survive and endure in even the bleakest of circumstances. Surely it must have been bleak to be taken from the freedom of the vast open world of the ocean and placed in a tiny tank the human equivalent of a bathtub; forced to perform tricks in order to eat; forced to live a life of confinement and servitude. Surely it must have been bleak to have babies and have those babies die prematurely or have them forced into the same life of pleasing noisy crowds with circus tricks to be fed a few dead fish. Surely it must have been misery to watch your daughters have babies and watch those babies die or be taken for entertainment. Cathi was mother to eight calves, three of which are still alive. Samantha has had four calves, two are still alive; Aries and Zo. Tori, deceased had a female calf named Denise, who was previously Cathi’s tank mate and at the time this was written, Denise still lives in dolphin lobby at Miami Seaquarium. What a tragic legacy Cathi left behind.
In late August of 2011, I visited Miami Seaquarium and noticed there were only three dolphins in the tank in dolphin lobby; Cathi and J.J. were missing from the tank. Dolphins are moved around from one exhibit to another frequently, so I did not find this as a cause to be alarmed. I took the month of September off and returned again in October of 2011. Again, I noticed that Cathi was missing and this time I chose in inquire as to her whereabouts. After the top deck dolphin show, I approached one of the trainers and asked what happened to Cathi and J.J. I was told J.J. was moved to the Flipper exhibit and Cathi was moved to Dolphin Harbor. I marched straight over to the Flipper exhibit and confirmed that J.J. was indeed one of the dolphins performing in that show. Dolphin Harbor is a little more difficult to confirm as it is where Miami Seaquarium has the swim with dolphins program and unless you have a ticket, you are not allowed in that area. I was disappointed that I had no way of knowing other than to wait. One year prior, a dolphin by the name of Hollywood lived in the dolphin lobby tank and when she passed away, anyone that asked about her was told she was “relocated to Dolphin Harbor.” It was two months before anyone was able to confirm that Hollywood died.
Depending on what source you choose to believe, wild dolphins have an average lifespan of about 25 to 40 years, with the females living longer than males. Animal welfare advocates that are opposed to marine parks often cite premature death from diseases and depression as reason that marine parks should not exist for entertainment purposes. Given that Cathi was probably a few years old at the time she was captured in 1971 and she had been in captivity for almost 40 years, one would think that perhaps her life should be remembered; that Miami Seaquarium should honor her and celebrate her life and mourn her passing for all that she gave to them after everything that was taken from her. Would it have been so horrible for the trainer to acknowledge her passing by telling me she was an old gal and passed away? I will come to think of the words “dolphin harbor” as a profane euphemism for “dead and forgotten.” Cathi died on August 21, 2011. It was the day before my 40th birthday and three short months before the 40th anniversary of her capture. For Cathi, I would say and do what Miami Seaquarium would never do for you, yet should have done: I will never forget and I will seek to honor your memory. Thank you for your years of service, even though it was forced upon you. Thank you for your calves and the legacy you leave behind. The world will never know how many children’s lives you enriched during your years of performing and captivity. For Cathi, I will send this far and wide and maybe, just maybe it will be published in some little piece of paper somewhere and if not, then at least I will have tried my hardest. It is sad, shameful and disgraceful that Miami Seaquarium could not do this for you at the time of your death as you so rightfully deserved. For Cathi, I’m sorry it took me all this time to find out about you. I hope that where ever you are, you are at peace and you are now swimming once again with your pod in the wild, jumping on the waves, hunting fish, playing and rejoicing in the beauty of freedom and the vast open spaces of blue before you. Good bye Cathi, may you rest eternally at peace.
One last little note before I sign off on this “blog” or “essay” or whatever anyone wishes to call it. If anyone thinks this is too long, let me inform you that living in a tiny tank for 40 years, swimming in endless circles after having known the freedom of the open spaces of the ocean is also too long. Cathi deserved the best, and my best in this is all that I could give her.
you can view this post here: http://www.facebook.com/notes/kelly-j-conner/in-loving-memoriam-her-name-was-cathi/10150663385492133
Are Seaquarium Animals Harmed by Excessive Partying?
In October, Switzerland’s Conny Land held a 16-hour “rave”– which sounds like hell for humans too — just a little more than 50 yards from the marine park, despite warnings from animal conservationists that dolphins are highly sensitive and easily distressed by loud noise.
Two of Conny Land’s dolphins died within a month of the party.
Seaquarium — the controversial home to killer whale Lolita and several dolphins — regularly hosts late-night parties. For Halloween, there was the Monster Splash Nightime Bash. And on November 25 — just a couple of weeks after the second Swiss dolphin died — Seaquarium hosted to the massive White Party.
Animal activists petitioned to stop the bash, collecting more than 1,400 signatures. Seaquarium reacted the same way it has to all animal welfare petitions: by ignoring it.
A glance at Seaquarium’s upcoming schedule shows a few more questionable events in the near future. There are the nightime hours of the holiday season — “complete with nightly snowfall, carnival rides, a Kids Winterfest, extended park hours,” ow, my blowhole is stinging already — and the Valentine’s Day Dine With the Dolphins event that will include late-night swimming with the dolphins and, we’re assuming, Kenny G blasted at Swedish House Mafia volumes.
Word of Seaquarium’s “raves” — unless glowsticks and Dennis Rodman were present, this word is probably being used a bit loosely — has traveled the globe. An Australian woman named Jewel Rainbow (really) recently emailed us:
Animal welfare advocates around the world are concerned that Miami Seaquarium is hosting late-night rave parties. These parties, which feature amplified music and fireworks exploding in the sky overhead, are simply not appropriate for a facility that is designed to provide a safe habitat for marine mammals, who need their rest after performing for the public during daylight hours. Come on, Miami, we know you’re a party town but do the right and let the sea creatures at Seaquarium get their sleep – find another venue for your raves.
We called the Seaquarium this morning for comment. We’ll let you know when we hear back.
Mark Baker Productions is throwing essentially a rave right next to the SQ, and within the last week two dolphins have died at a swiss dolphinarium after a “techo party” was thrown across the street. http://whiteparty.org/events/the-white-party
A dolphin has died at a Swiss amusement park just weeks after conservationists warned that loud noises could cause extreme distress to the cetaceans at a dolphinarium in the eastern town of Lipperswil.
WRS | Second dolphin dies at Conny-Land (after techno party)
Animal rights groups have called for three remaining dolphins to be seized from the Conny-Land amusement park in canton Thurgau following the death of the second dolphin there in under a week.
loud noises for prolonged periods of time can cause elevated levels of stress which can lower cetaceans immune system response and essentially lead to sickness and/or death.
Who to contact:
The White Party: http://whiteparty.org/contact
MIAMI-DADE OFFICE: 3510 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, Florida 33137 Tel: 305-576-1234 Fax: 305-571-2020
BROWARD OFFICE: 871 West Oakland Park Boulevard Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311 Tel: 954-567-7141 Fax: 954-565-5624
Politely tell the entertainment that playing this show may harm animals:
DJ Joe Gauthreaux: http://www.facebook.com/DJJoeG
Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce
88 West McIntyre Street, Suite 100
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
USDA APHIS Animal Care: email@example.com USDA/APHIS/AC 4700 River Road, Unit 84 Riverdale, MD 20737-1234 Ph: 301-734-7833 Fax: 301-734-4978
Animal Welfare Information Center: firstname.lastname@example.org 10301 Baltimore Ave. Beltsville, MD 20705-2351 Ph: 301-504-6212 Fax: 301-504-7125
Key Biscayne Police/Public Safety Direct Non-Emergency Line: (305) 365-5555
I would like to remind you we cannot “attack” this White Party, just nicely try our best to inform them on the perils that can arise from throwing this party at the SQ. What they do for HIV/Aids awareness is great, but they don’t need to harm the SQ animals in the process. Kindly urge people who would like to support the cause to send in donations, but don’t attend the party.
Mark Baker Events:
Administrative Office 3510 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, Florida 33137 TEL: 305-576-1234 – FAX: 305-571-2020
A informative demonstation will be held all night during the event, you can get more info and sign up to attend here:
Minimum and maximum distances of White Party stage to animal enclosures, according to Google Earth: Lolita’s Tank-min 683ft max 894ft, Top Deck Dolphin Tank-min 484ft max 638ft, Sealion/Seal Dome- min 250ft max 478ft, Manatee Pool-min 611ft max 852ft, Rear Medical Pools-min 116ft max 380ft. All enclosures listed are within a distance of disturbance which COULD lead to elevated stress levels and immune system suppression of animals.
September 23rd is the day Lolita, the lonely orca, was ripped away fromher family, sold into captivity, and shipped from her home in the wild to arrive at the Miami Seaquarium on Sept 24th. It is also the last day of the International Animal Trainers’ Association (IMATA) Conference in Miami, hosted by the Miami Seaquarium.
Lolita has been living in an illegal-sized tank at the Miami Seaquarium for the last 40 years at a facility that is widely considered one of the most dilapidated in the U.S. and has no AAZA Accreditation, the minimum industry standard. And yet, the Miami Seaquarium now also houses a ‘Swim-with-Dolphins’ program.
We support the 3 R’s of Responsible Captivity: Rescue, Rehab, and Release only!
We invite Miami residents, activists from everywhere, and the media to come out and support this cause.
And we are, once again, seeking CITY CAPTAINS around the world to host simultaneous events. All events will be listed at www.SaveLolita.com and fliers/posters will be provided electronically. JOIN US!
Sat, Sept. 24 noon-2 pm
Waterfront Park/Market Entrance
City Captain, Rae Benson
San Francisco, CA:
Sun, Sept. 18 noon- 3 pm
City Captain, Wendy Brunot
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=1669246833665?07
San Diego, CA:
Sat, Sept. 24 10 am – 2 pm
City Captain, James Madison
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2136752019950?34
ECOTERRA Intl. and ECOP-marine
email@example.com (for details)
Olympia, WA USA
Park on Water Street, across the street from Traditions Café
10 AM to 2 PM
Cell phone: 509-669-1549
Victoria, BC, Canada
Intersection of Government and View Street (by Irish Times)
September 24th, 12 – 2pm
Will provide flyers to hand out
Saturday, September 24th from 11AM-1PM
On the plaza in front of the Baltimore (National) Aquarium. Make and bring a poster if you like. Fliers are not allowed to be handed out. I will be painting a picture of Orcas.
(cancelled in the event of rain)
Cell number# 301-641-4606
Kyrstyn Proie (my little sister)
Saturday September 24th 12-2PM
Point State Park, meet at the fountain
September 24th 12-2PM
Victor Steinbrueck Park (next to Pike Place Market)
Key West, Florida
Saturday September 24th 6-8pm
Mallory Square for sunset
Contact Krystin@earthrace.net to become a City Captain in your area!
Key West, Florida
Saturday September 24th 6-8pm
Mallory Square for sunset
(Gina Gaft on Facebook for more info)
END ENTERTAINMENT CAPTIVITY EVERYWHERE –
We support the 3R’s of Responsible Marine Mammal Captivity: Rescue, Rehab, and Release only!
LOLITA’S RETIREMENT –
In collaboration with Orca Network (www.orcanetwork.org), We strive to see Lolita retired to a sea pen in her native Pacific North West waters where she will be taken care of for the rest of her life unless she chooses to rejoin her pod still residing in her natal waters.
AMEND IMATA ‘CODE OF ETHICS’ FOR TRANSPARENCY
In collaboration with Earthrace Conservation and The Selkie Society, we also seek to have IMATA amend their own ‘Code of Ethics’ to include transparency as to the source of the animals their members work with. Please sign the petition to be delivered to IMATA’s President: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/IMATA-Improve-Your-Code-of-Ethics-to-Protect-Dolphins/
WHAT TO BRING:
Printed fliers, banners, T-shirts, costumes, musical instruments, friends, family and a positive attitude.
Please do not park in the Miami Seaquarium parking lot (or the parking lot of any facility that holds marine mammals captive for entertainment); there is usually parking within walking distance of the protest.
Protest against marine life captivity to coincide with protests across the country at marine parks and aquariums. Independence day garb and flags should be worn and carried proud, signs proclaiming Captivity Kills, Thanks but No Tanks, Were Fighting for Their Freedom, Make the USA Cetacean Captivity Free, etc. Events are being held at captive marine mammal parks across the country including SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, San Antonio, and The Georgia Aquarium.
Come out and speak for our girl Lolita (Toki). Lets make some noise!!
-Please make sure not to pay the Seaquarium to park in their lots which funds the slavery of all animals kept there. Turn right at the light labeled “Mast Academy” and park at the FREE public parking at the beach.
Questions and/or comments contact this demos administrator at the facebook event page here:
for the full story please visit: http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/seaworld-presses-judge-to-have-closed-hearings/
-Thank you, The Orca Project for this information:
It is anticipated that Federal Judge Ben Welch will be asked to to sign a “Protective Order” for the Sea World vs OSHA hearing, effectively sealing off this case forever. This has been the typical protocol for SeaWorld in past cases regarding employee injuries, and it’s expected to follow the same route in this investigation into the tragic death of Dawn Brancheau nearly one year ago. The proceedings before Judge Welch in Orlando, FL, originally scheduled to begin this Monday, February 14, 2011 have been rescheduled to April 25, 2011, in Orlando, FL.
You can contact, United States Department of Labor, which apparently will also link you to Secretary Hilda Solis FaceBook page. Solis is at the top of OSHA’s chain of command. http://www.facebook.com/departmentoflabor?ref=ts
You can also write on Secretary Hilda Solis’s wall. http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1712614173462&id=1175597100#!/hildasolis
sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/seaworld-stop-pressuring-osha-to-have-closed-hearings
Most Honorable Secretary of Labor
Hilda L. Solis
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
Re: OSHA vs. SeaWorld Order
We respectfully request that you allow the public to hear the outcome of this tragedy and not have the public be banned from hearing about the case.
According to a reliable source, federal Judge Ben Welch is preparing to sign a “Proposed Protective Order” for the Sea World vs OSHA hearing scheduled to begin 25 April 2011, in Orlando, FL, effectively sealing off this case forever.
This order will bar the public from participating in this hearing, and seal all content, including expert witness testimony, and documentation describing the suboptimal conditions associated with orca captivity. Expert witnesses who participate in this trial (if this attempt to seal is successful) will not be allowed to discuss or write anything about it, publicly. The family of the victims should be vindicated and we respectfully submit a request that YOU DO NOT APPROVE THIS ORDER.
It will also prevent content from being used for future litigation or investigation, essentially closing it, akin to the John Sillick tragedy of November of 1987.
-This hearing could determine the future of keeping orcas in captivity for entertainment purposes, so it directly affects Lolita and the Miami Seaquarium. The Seaquarium has much less resources and money than SeaWorld does so please take the time to send the above letter and help play a part in a revolution that has been brewing for many years!
October 14 · 12:00pm – 2:00pm
|Location||In front of the Japanese Consulate
80 SW 8th St
Tram: 8th St. Station (Brickell loop)
get off of tram and walk WEST on 8th street for a block and you will see Japanese Consulate on the left
Parking: 8th St. has a strip mall called “Brickell Markplace” which I’m told has plenty of free parking less than a block away from the consulate. It is located East of the consulate on the left side of the street.
Also paid street parking is available but limited.
Hosted By: Save Japan Dolphins and Oceanic Defense
Demonstrations will be going on throughout the world in front of Japanese embassies and consulates on October 14th. Please join your fellow environmentalists and animal activists in protesting the hunts and urging Japan to switch to more sustainable and benign methods of profit, such as eco-tourism and dolphin-watching cruises (ironically becoming more popular in Japan every year).
Please join us in protesting the dolphin slaughter. For more information on the issue, you can go to our website:
Orca Network, DJ-EcoElements-Seattle
Sarah Patrick firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary Chapter –
Joanne Clarke email@example.com
Mariana – Prijatelji zivotinja
EDEV – Een DIER Een VRIEND-Rotterdam, Netherlands
Leilani Munter-Taiji, Japan
Dear Friends of Lolita,
Please tell USDA & APHIS to enforce the Animal Welfare Act! Beyond allowing Miami Seaquarium to house orca Lolita in an undersized, illegal tank, MSQ has no plan to protect their marine mammals when the gulf oil spill contaminates their waters in August. The USDA & APHIS are doing nothing about it!
We know that Miami Seaquarium is pursuing a 3-5 million dollar claim against BP to upgrade/update their filtration system as water may become contaminated from the Gulf spill. Miami Seaquarium and its owners Andrew and Arthur Hertz have no plans for the wellbeing of Lolita or their other marine life, including 30 dolphins, about 15 seals/sea lions, dozens of reptiles, fish, sea turtles, and at least eight manatees. They are merely interested in protecting their profits. These animals will be in grave danger if they are not moved or protected immediately. It is time to tell United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) & Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to enforce the laws and regulations of the Animal Welfare Act.
Please cut and paste the following letter, sign your name and send to the email addresses shown below. Feel free to edit, personalize & share any way you see fit. Thank you for your support! Special thanks to John Kielty for writing this entry.
USDA-APHIS-Animal Care: firstname.lastname@example.org
USDA-APHIS-Animal Care East: email@example.com
USDA-APHIS-Policy & Programs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abbey Shaffer- Legislative Teams Leader: email@example.com
Christopher Needham- Legislative Affairs Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org
James Ivy- USDA-APHIS: email@example.com
Bethany Jones- Deputy Administrator of Legislative and Public Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward Avalos- Under Secretary for Marketing & Regulatory Programs: email@example.com
Kathleen Merrigan- Deputy Secretary of Agriculture: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Vilsak- Secretary of Agriculture: email@example.com
Comma separated if you’d prefer a single bulk mailing:
Also, please cut and paste this letter into the contact forms of these Senators:
Senator Maria Cantwell: http://cantwell.senate.gov/contact/
Senator Patty Murray: http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida: http://billnelson.senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
RE: Miami Seaquarium disaster contingency plan & safety for orca Lolita
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
Animal Care (AC)
To whom this may concern:
As you may be aware, Andrew Hertz, General Manager of Miami Seaquarium, a small aquarium in Miami, Florida, has recently stated his intention to file a $3 to $5 million dollar claim against BP citing his requirement to upgrade the marine park’s filtration system should the waters of Biscayne Bay become contaminated from oil resulting from the Deep Water Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico (www.justnews.com/news/23910898/detail.html). By this action, the Hertz family has admittedly demonstrated that they are not prepared, equipped or otherwise capable of carrying out a disaster contingency plan to provide emergency sources of water and/or arrangements for relocating marine mammals as is required by APHIS Regulation 9 CFR section 3.101(b). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an 80% chance that the oil will hit the Miami area in August and I am deeply concerned the Miami Seaquarium wildlife is in jeopardy. In addition to Killer Whale Lolita the lives of 30 dolphins, about 15 seals and sea lions, dozens of reptiles/fish, sea turtles, and at least eight manatees are in peril. Your immediate action is required to ensure their safety.
Should the Hertz family be successful in securing funds for this major reconstruction effort, it is my contention that Miami Seaquarium be required by USDA-APHIS to bring ALL provisions of animal welfare, including marine mammal housing size, into compliance with current APHIS Regulations under the Animal Welfare Act.
Since the brutal capture of killer whale (orca) Lolita in 1970, she has been kept in a tank that is illegal by current APHIS standards for space requirements as provided in Regulation 9 CFR section 3.104. Now 43 years old, Lolita is approximately 21 feet long and 7,000 pounds. Her tank is 20 feet deep at the deepest point, a mere 12 feet deep around the edges and 35 feet wide. Lolita’s life of misery in these substandard confines has continued long enough. The Hertz family has been profiting from Lolita’s exploitation for more than 40 years and the time has come to end her suffering and provide her the protection and quality of life she deserves. They should not be allowed to continue operating with no emergency contingency plans, under outdated regulations, and making piecemeal improvements aimed solely at protecting profits. Now is the time to act on Lolita’s behalf. Time is running out!
As a part of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the USDA, I know that you are concerned with the future of marine mammals in captivity and the urgent crisis developing at the Miami Seaquarium. Please do your part and ensure immediate action is taken and provisions are provided that require Miami Seaquarium’s compliance with all current APHIS Regulations under the Animal Welfare Act for this emergency and any future construction and/or upgrades at their marine mammal park. If the Hertz family finds that complying with all current APHIS Regulations is not cost feasible, alternative viable solutions are under development to provide a safe retirement for Lolita in her native habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Details of this proposal can be found here: www.orcanetwork.org/captivity/2007proposaldraft.html. There are many wonderful people and knowledgeable organizations willing to work with the Miami Seaquarium and are ready and waiting to move forward with a rehabilitation/retirement plan for Lolita and the other animals, including dolphins, that may be in danger currently at Seaquarium.
Taima, a 20 year old killer whale, died while giving birth Sunday, June 6, in the afternoon at Sea World Orlando, Florida. She was impregnated by Tilikum, the same orca who killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. Taima and her calf did not survive the birth. (The calf was a stillbirth) Sea World’s “Shamu Show” was temporarily shut down, though guests were not told that the animals had died.
Taima was known for misbehaving and was sometimes aggressive to the other orcas. She was born at Sea World Orlando in 1989 to Gudrun (died 1996), a female orca captured from Iceland. Taima was about 18 feet long and over 6,500 pounds when she died. She is survived by three calves — Sumar, Tekoa, and Malia. Her youngest, Malia, is only 3 years old. Wild orcas remain with their mothers for life, so we’re hoping for the best for this little one.
Taima died at age 20. Keep in mind that many wild female orcas live well into their 60’s – and some live even longer than that! Please boycott marine parks, such as Sea World, Miami Seaquarium, Six Flags, etc. if you disagree with the practice of keeping large, intelligent marine mammals in captivity for human amusement.
Katina, a 35 year old killer whale at Sea World Orlando, is expected to give birth shortly to another of Tilikum’s calves.
Only time will tell what will happen to her.