At only 4 years old Lolita was torn away from her family and ocean home during the largest capture of wild orcas in history. For a mere $6,000, Lolita was purchased by the Miami Seaquarium, where she has been confined for decades and used for human entertainment. She is the sole survivor of that horrifying capture and has spent almost all her life in the smallest, oldest orca tank in the U.S.—one that doesn’t even meet the federal Animal Welfare Act’s antiquated and inadequate minimum size requirement and that fails to provide her with any shelter from the blistering Miami sun. Orcas in nature spend 90 percent of their time underwater and dive to depths of 1,000 feet, but the tank confining Lolita is just 20 feet at its deepest point—the same length as her body. Orcas held in tanks often sustain sunburns and even blisters.
With very little stimulation and no opportunity to engage meaningfully in the most basic and natural orca behavior, Lolita spends her days floating listlessly. She has been without the companionship of any member of her own species since 1980—when her tankmate, Hugo, died after repeatedly ramming his head into the tank wall.
Lolita’s family, the Southern Resident orca population, is now endangered—in large part because their babies have been captured and held in captivity and adults have been killed while trying to save them.
It’s time for Lolita to go home.