Free Lolita from Seaquarium
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Background Source Care2
Her name is Lolita, and she is 48 years old. August 8th, 2012, marked the 42th anniversary of Lolita’s capture from her family, the South Resident orcas in Penn Cove off Whidby Island in Washington. She was kidnapped at the age of 6 from her home in northwestern Washington State, and she has been a prisoner for the last 42 years.
The entire community of about 85 resident orcas was driven into Penn Cove, Whidbey Island. Four baby whales and a young mother drowned in the capture, and seven very young whales were sold into the entertainment industry. Of at least 45 whales removed or killed during the capture era, only one survives … alone … in a Miami marine park, The Miami Seaquarium. Since the brutal capture 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.
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.
We ask Arthur and Andrew Hertz, owners of the Moami Seaquarium, to retire their ‘captive’ and return her to her family pod in Washington State. Some of the worlds top orca researchers and past releases of cetaceans show that captive animals can almost always be successfully reintroduced to their habitats.
They never should have been in possession of Lolita, and other sea mammals to begin with – according to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the “taking” of marine mammals. The maximum fine for violating the MMPA is $20,000 and one year in jail. “Taking” as defined under the MMPA as “harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, kill or collect.”
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For years I have been trapped,
Away from all those that I
In this small and lonely
I remember my real place,
With those I loved,
I did not want to go
Oh how I wish that I
Could go home.
Karen Lyons Kalmenson