Free Lolita! Protesters Call End to Killer Whale's Captivity

Seaquarium says releasing Lolita into the wild would put her in danger

About 50 people showed up Sunday to let Lolita the killer whale know they have her back. Er, fin.

The rally, which was part of four days of events to raise awareness for "healthy aquatic ecosystems free from human neglect," was organized in part by "The Cove" documentary creator and South Florida native Ric O'Barry, Whale Wars' Pete Bethune, paddleboarder Cynthia Aguilar, and Trevor, a nine-year-old boy from Washington who launched a campaign to free the logest-held orca in captivity.

Said orca is Lolita, who has lived at the Miami Seaquarium for 40 years. The protest was called "Let Lolita Live," and wasn't Trevor's first attempt - he was recently kicked out of the park for protesting during a live show.

"The tank doesn't even meet U.S. regulations in terms of size," said Bethune, calling Lolita's captivity in "such poor conditions a disgrace."

The Miami Seaquarium denied the alleged poor state of Lolita's conditions, saying in a statement that the whale is "as active and healthy as ever" and that the USDA stated that her habitat "far exceeds the minimum requirements established by the AWA (Animal Welfare Act) regulations." 

The Seaquarium went on to say that releasing Lolita into the wild would put her in danger, as he "has lost her ability to protect and feed herself in the wild."



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