Orca – Lolita

Lolita – Slave to Entertainment

How many seats are available for a Lolita show? Imagine – every seat booked by humans working to set her free! Backs turned to the show. Chanting:

Set her free!

Set her free!



I’d be there. As much as it would gall me to give $ to her slave masters, I’d be there. For her. Invite the press!


Of all the captive cetaceans languishing in marine parks, Lolita is thought by many specialists to have the best chance of successful rehabilitation and release. Her pod, her family, are listed as endangered. Their location is known. She and her family still recognize each others’ vocalizations.


Is it possible that she might die upon careful release? Certainly. After 5 years of freedom, Keiko died. Lolita might die as well.


You or I might be fatally injured in a car crash. Does that thought make us feel the need to crawl into a tiny cage all alone?


This constant debate often ignores other vital points – as with Keiko, if Lolita leaves the safety of her sea pen, it will be her choice and she would always be welcome to choose to come back.


 AP News — February 4, 2015.

SEATTLE (AP) – A captive killer whale that has been performing for decades at the Miami Seaquarium deserves the same protection as a small population of endangered orcas that spend time in Washington state waters, the federal government announced Wednesday.

But the National Marine Fisheries Service said the whale’s inclusion in the endangered listing for southern resident killer whales does not impact the animal’s stay at the Florida facility where she has been since 1970.

“This is a listing decision. It is not a decision to free Lolita. It’s not a decision that she should be free,” said Will Stelle, regional administrator for the Fisheries Service’s West Coast region.

Stelle said it does not affect the conditions of the orca’s captivity or care at this time, nor is the Miami Seaquarium required to do anything as a result.

But animal rights groups called it a victory and said the decision opens the way for them to argue that the whale’s living conditions violate provisions of the federal endangered-species law.


Fast Forward June 3, 2016 ~ Broward-Palm Beacn New Times

Ever since Lolita, the sole orca at the Miami Seaquarium, was declared an endangered species last year, activists have pushed to retire her by suing the marine park for violating protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

In May 2015, Howard Garrett, the president of the Seattle-based Orca Network, along with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), filed a lawsuit against the Seaquarium, alleging that the employees at the marine park were “committing harm” to a protected animal.

Garrett and many other activists say the nearly 50-year-old whale’s life is threatened by being kept in a tank. They say animals face “unnatural” stress in marine parks and believe the killer whale should be left alone, not encouraged to do tricks.

Federal judge Ursula Ungaro, however, dismissed the case yesterday, stating that activists must take up the issue with lawmakers to update laws regarding animal welfare in order to “improve Lolita’s less than ideal [living] conditions.”

She wrote in an order that “the conditions in which Lolita is kept, and the injuries the Plaintiffs have presented to the Court, are largely addressed under a different federal law — the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Under these facts, Plaintiffs remedy is not under the ESA, but rather with Congress, where their efforts to improve Lolita’s less than ideal conditions can be addressed through legislation.”

Jeff Geragi, the president of the Animal Activists Network believes that to make a “bona fide” effort to retire Lolita, advocates for marine mammals must put pressure on lawmakers to update the AWA and the ESA.

“Unfortunately the laws protecting whales and other animals have not caught up, and Lolita is paying the price,” she said. “[But] we will continue to protest Miami Seaquarium, their parent company Palace Entertainment, and Arle Capital, their holding company — until Lolita is home.”

Standard captive entertainment propaganda:

Lolita plays an important role in the mission of Miami Seaquarium to educate the public about the need to conserve the marine environment and its residents. Each year, more than 65,000 school children and 600,000 guests visit Miami Seaquarium to learn about Lolita and the other residents of the sea. We know firsthand the educational and inspirational experiences these children and adults have when they see Lolita, our dolphins and the other marine mammals at our facility.

Lolita will continue to be an ambassador for her species at Miami Seaquarium.”

By all means – watching a killer whale do tricks for food teaches kids and adults all about conservation, right? … The Internet really needs a sarcasm font, doesn’t it?

Read more…

What we know; we love. What we love; we protect!

In 1996 Keith Henderson of Dateline-NBC played a tape of Lolita’s family. The tape was recorded in July, 1995, during a superpod event in the Pacific Northwest. A superpod is a reunion of the three pods that make up Lolita’s extended family, the Southern Resident community. Lolita still makes the calls of her subpod, the L25 subpod, named for the presumed matriarch. These calls are unique to the L25 subpod.

Lolita, like Namu before her, always tries to create a bond of friendship with a trusted companion. This gives us an indication of her normal, natural relationships with family members. She can perfectly remember the meaning of a hand signal that she hasn’t seen in more than eight years, that asks her to perform a silly trick. Indications are that if she were allowed to be reunited with her family, even by an acoustic linkup, Lolita would remember how to communicate with her mother and the rest of her family, and they would remember her. Lolita still makes her family’s calls. There are four living females among L pod who are the right age to possibly be Lolita’s mother.

In late July of 1994, during production of the movie Free Willy 2 on San Juan Island, Governor Mike Lowry came to participate in a town meeting and visit the movie set. Balcomb met Governor Lowry and told him about Lolita, the last survivor of Washington State’s capture era. Lowry took an interest in helping bring Lolita home, and asked his policy advisor to act as coordinator to marshall state agencies to help prepare for Lolita’s rehabilitation seapen.

Lowry teamed up with Washington Secretary of State Ralph Munro, a dedicated opponent of the orca display industry since he and his wife witnessed a capture in 1976. On March 9, 1995, Lowry and Munro, along with Balcomb, held a press conference at the Daybreak Star Center in Seattle to announce the start of a campaign to bring Lolita home. Lowry declared his intention to help Lolita return “as a citizen of the state of Washington.”

Learn more from Orca Network…

Make contacts for Lolita

Miami Seaquarium                                                  
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149
(305) 361-5705

Contact form: http://www.miamiseaquarium.com/hours-and-directions/contact-us


Palace Entertainment Corporate Headquarters
4590 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 400
Newport Beach, CA 92660


Arle Capital Partners Limited

Amadeus House
27b Floral Street

T +44 (0) 20 7979 0000
Email: info@arle.com

Find and contact your representative in Congress: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/


Find and contact your senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state



Save Lolita

There are several groups attempting to retire Lolita from her tank that violates Department of Agriculture size regulations at the Miami Seaquarium to a more humane existence. A plan has been proposed by the Orca Network to retire Lolita to a transitional ocean sanctuary in her native habitat in the Pacific Northwest.

Learn how you can take action to Save Lolita and Fight for her Freedom.





Lolita – Slave to Entertainment

Full movie



The fight for Lolita’s freedom continues – please take your stand in her defense.

Each of these petitions, and many more available online, help to free captives and prevent others from being stolen from their families.


Care2 petition

The Petition Site





Please do not support the cruelty of captivity by buying marine park tickets!





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