Make a Splash: Free Lolita!

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The show is designed to make people believe Lolita is having fun.

Meet Lolita: an intelligent and sensitive orca, confined to the smallest orca tank in North America.

This life means daily misery for Lolita, but big bucks for the Miami Seaquarium. And, even though her shameful living conditions clearly violate the Animal Welfare Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to hand out AWA licenses to the Seaquarium.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is outraged and petitioning the USDA to give Lolita the justice she so rightly deserves.

Lolita was one of seven orcas kidnapped in the notorious 1970 Penn Cove round up in Puget Sound, Washington. In this horrific event, when four orcas (three calves) drowned in the nets, their bellies were slit in an attempt by human captors to sink the bodies and perhaps to hide this shameful waste of life. However, the bodies of the dead orcas washed ashore and lead to righteous public outrage. You can hear the cries of Lolita and her family in the devastating video footage of her family’s capture.

“For some reason I couldn’t see the video that would play on that page; so I have included this video instead, which has some of the soundtrack from that capture!”

Killer Whale Captures

Uploaded by  on 31 Aug 2009

Footage shot by KING TV in the early 1970’s of the early killer whale captures in Puget Sound.

“In this video one of the divers from that day, explains what happened, he still shed tears to this day!”

“Orca Stories” from “Baby Wild Films Presents: The Killer Whale People”

“Another video that show’s part of capture of the whales”

“A promo stunt goes badly wrong when a theme park secretary is given the opportunity to ride on the back of a killer whale; but it goes terribly wrong & the women ends up having over 100 stitches to close the wound on her leg! I don’t think this whale did this out of malice, I think it’s out of sheer frustration; the pools they swim in are like bath tubs to the orcas!”

“Please sign the petition, do anything you can to have these beautiful mammals put back where they belong…in the WILD”

In the wild, orcas spend their entire lives with their mothers and family bonds last a lifetime. In 1996, twenty-six years after her capture, Lolita was played a recording of her family’s calls. Heartbreakingly, Lolita returned the distinct dialect of her family’s calls, in clear recognition of familiar voices. And at more than 80 years old, Lolita’s mother still thrives in a seaside sanctuary in their home waters, just waiting for Lolita to come home.

Performers literally ride on Lolita’s back for profit.

Instead, because she brings in profit, Lolita swims tiny circles in a shallow and barren cement tank that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. Constantly exposed to the burning Miami sun and tropical storms, Lolita has been without any orca companion for three decades.

In the beginning, Lolita had the company of Hugo, a male orca who shared her tank from 1971 until 1980. They mated, but in her stressful environment Lolita suffered unsuccessful pregnancies. In 1980, in what many believe was a desperate attempt to break free from his miserable prison, or commit suicide, Hugo continuously rammed his head into the side of the tank and died of a brain aneurysm  Since Hugo’s sudden death in 1980, which left Lolita sulking at the bottom of her tank in a state “not unlike bereavement,” Lolita has not had a killer whale companion.

As a reward for her own extraordinary will to live, Lolita has been exploited for 42 years. She was abducted from her family and enslaved purely for the profit of the “amusement” park. Despite shameful and inhumane living conditions, Lolita endures – and her survivor spirit has haunted the hearts of people around the world. But given the low quality of her life at Seaquarium, it is likely she will die decades before her time, unless we act now, as we did for Keiko (“Willy”). It is time for us to set Lolita free.

Published on 22 Aug 2012 by 

 ALDF Fights to Free Lolita

This is why ALDF is doing everything it can to help return Lolita to her family. In addition to a petition to stop the USDA’s unmerited renewal of the Seaquarium’s AWA license, ALDF (along with PETA) is suing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to end the exclusion of Lolita from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the Pacific Northwest’s Southern Resident orcas.

ALDF is asking the courts to intervene where federal agencies – charged with protecting Lolita – have repeatedly failed her. “The horror of Lolita’s confinement is almost inconceivable” says Jenni James, litigation fellow at ALDF. “It is time for the government to grant her the legal protections she has been denied for decades.”

What You Can Do to Help

  • Do not buy a ticket to any amusement park with captive orcas, especially the Miami Seaquarium.
  • Educate yourself, educate your friends, and spread the word.
  • Arrange a screening of Lolita: Slave to Entertainment at your school, community center, library, or local community television station.
  • Do not support companies like Princess Cruises (a division of Carnival Cruises) that endorse animal cruelty at the Seaquarium.
  • Contact the USDA and ask them to follow the law provided in the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Sign ALDF’s Petition to the:- National Marine Fisheries Service.

More Information

Lawsuit To Free Lolita The Killer Whale Dismissed

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“Poor Lolita, her freedom was taken, she was forced to perform! I think it is atrocious that a jumped up judge that probably knows jack sxxt about orca’s, has the final say on her life…her life was taken from her…her performances have raked in god knows how much money for Miami Seaquarium. If they thought anything about Lolita they would let her retire. And she could be set free again, with time in  a sea pen, it’s not like there just going to free her straight into the sea…it’s possible…so I hope everyone keeps fighting for this Orca…she deserves her freedom & has paid dearly for it…Free Lolita NOW!

“Join her facebook page & protest for Lolita’s freedom”….

SEATTLE (CBSMiami/AP)South Florida marine super star Lolita the killer whale will remain in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium after a federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., dismissed a lawsuit aimed at freeing the marine park’s star attraction.

Judge Benjamin H. Settle last week ruled that orca activists who sued the federal government didn’t give proper notice and failed to state a valid claim. He granted motions by the government and Seaquarium to dismiss the case.

Lolita, the oldest killer whale in captivity, was born around 1966. She has spent most of her life performing at the Seaquarium since her capture from Puget Sound waters in 1970.

The 7,000 pound whale has lived in the 20-foot deep tank for more than 40 years, performing twice a day for South Florida tourists.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and three individuals sued the National Marine Fisheries Service in November, saying it should have protected Lolita when it listed other Puget Sound orcas as endangered in 2005.

The groups say they’ll continue to fight for Lolita’s release back into the waters of the Pacific Northwest where she was originally captured but her handlers and theme park owners have said her life would be endangered if she were freed after so many years in captivity.

The Seaquarium has said Lolita is healthy and well-cared for.

News Link:-

Speak Out for Better Protections for Captive Orcas!

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Lolita is a solitary orca who has been confined to a tiny concrete tank at the Miami Seaquarium for more than 40 years. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides members of the wild Southern Resident orca population and other endangered animals with a host of protections, including protection against being harmed or harassed. Yet, despite being a member of the Southern Residents, Lolita has been denied all of these protections without any explanation by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The government’s failure to provide Lolita with the protections enjoyed by the wild members of her pod has enabled the Miami Seaquarium to keep her in conditions that violate the Endangered Species Act. Lolita must be granted the protections under federal law which she is rightfully due and which best ensure her survival and well-being, which—depending on her condition—could include transferring her to a sea pen in her home waters and releasing her back to her family pod.

In the wild, orcas live in tight family units with bonds that may last a lifetime. At Seaquarium, Lolita swims endless circles in a small, barren tank that does not comply with USDA regulations. This highly intelligent and social animal has been without an orca companion since 1980.

Click to sign petition:- ALDF Link to above post

Sign ALDF’s petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service, urging them to include captive members of Lolita’s Southern Resident pod in ESA protections.

Posted by Carter Dillard, ALDF’s Director of Litigation on March 21st, 2012

For Seaquarium Owners, Exploiting an Endangered Whale Is Just Business as Usual

Most people don’t make their living by exploiting endangered species – but for Arthur and Andrew Hertz, it’s been a profitable arrangement. This father-son duo owns and operates the Miami Seaquarium, an aquatic theme park in Florida that features Lolita, an endangered orca who has been forced to live and perform there for the past forty years. Lolita was captured near Puget Sound when she was about four years old – and is estimated to have brought the Seaquarium tens of millions of dollars since then.

The day of Lolita’s capture from Puget Sound

The Seaquarium operates below federal animal welfare guidelines, including a tank that is smaller than mandated by the USDA; another orca housed with Lolita died several years ago after slamming his head into a concrete structure in the middle of the tank.

Her welfare aside, a federal court in Washington State must now decide whether Lolita’s being a member of an endangered species might actually change the rest of her life. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and a number of individual plaintiffs have sued the federal government to ensure that Lolita is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—when her pod was listed as endangered, captive members of the pod, like Lolita, were excluded from ESA protections with no explanation given by the National Marine Fisheries Services. Federal law prohibits the “take” or harming and harassing of endangered species—which likely includes what Seaquarium and its trainers do to Lolita in order to make her perform, as well as her current living conditions, which fall below federal regulations for housing orcas. Needless to say, Arthur and Andrew Hertz are concerned that the suit might cost them their star performer, and Seaquarium has intervened in the case in an attempt to have it thrown out of court.

If you’d like to urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to include captive members of Lolita’s Southern Resident pod in Endangered Species Act protections, please sign ALDF’s petition here.

Click here to read more on this post :-Link to ALDF Post

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