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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 4,025
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Lolita was taken from her family when she was just 4 years old.

Handed over to the Miami Seaquarium for $6,000, she was forced into a life of captivity and made to perform day after day for the next 45 years. According to marine welfare watchdog organization Sea World of Hurt [1], Lolita is now the only surviving member of the pod of 90 orcas she once belonged to.

This beautiful creature's existence was marginalized, quite literally, as Lolita has been confined to one of the smallest tanks in the United States. Measuring merely 35 feet wide, the cramped environment fails to meet any requirements of the Animal Welfare Act set up nearly 15 years before her tragic capture off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. It's been more than two and a half decades since Lolita has even seen another orca, and as the Dodo reports [2], her declining health is an obvious sign of mistreatment.

As if being slathered with zinc oxide to prevent sunburn in the unnaturally clear waters, and forced to allow seaquarium staff to ride on her for entertainment, Lolita has been called "the loneliest orca in the world," and it's likely the isolation has contributed in no small way to her mounting physical issues.

"[Lolita] has been diagnosed with a pterygium, also called 'surfer's eye,'" writes Dr. Pedro Javier Gallego Reyes, veterinarian and cofounder of marine biology association Odyssea. "This is caused by excessive exposure to UV radiation [and] leads to discomfort, and can cause a significant alteration in visual function."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [3] has included Lolita, also known as Tokitae, in a list of endangered species, although this designation has done little to convince the Miami Seaquarium to release her. NOAA maintains that plans to move or release Lolita would require a permit from NOAA Fisheries and rigorous scientific review. Furthermore, "Previous attempts to release captive killer whales and dolphins have often been unsuccessful and some have ended tragically with the death of the released animal," the administration asserts.

Were the ailing orca freed from captivity, marine biologist Ken Balcomb has posited a "Comprehensive Retirement Plan" for Lolita [4]. The proposed system would help acclimate her back to the Pacific Northwest by way of an unconfined natural seawater pen in the Greater Puget Sound she could freely traverse.

There is no excuse for the continued imprisonment and forced exhibition of orcas within the United States. Tell the Eastern Regional Director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Office of the Inspector General that Lolita must be retired to her native habitat in the Pacific Northwest immediately!

Sign Here






Dear Eastern Regional Director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Office of the Inspector General,

The continued imprisonment of orcas within the United States is in blatant disregard for the laws of this country, not the least of which were set forth by the Animal Welfare Act in 1966. Sadly, one of the victims of this ignorance has been suffering for more than 45 years.

Since she was taken from her family off the coast of the Pacific Northwest at just 4 years old, Lolita has bee slathered with zinc oxide to prevent sunburn in the unnaturally clear waters of the Miami Seaquarium, and forced, day in and day out, to allow seaquarium staff to ride on her for entertainment.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation has led to a severe case of pterygium, and isolation from any other orcas for the last 26 years has earned Lolita the tragic moniker of "the loneliest orca in the world."

Lolita's tragic life story is a publicly acknowledged example of the many changes that need to be made in the aquatic entertainment industry. And, although aging and ailing, there is yet hope for her and others.

Marine biologist Ken Balcomb has posited a "Comprehensive Retirement Plan" for Lolita, which could safely and easily ensure her transition from the Miami Seaquarium to her home near Greater Puget Sound. Balcomb's plan was published in 1995, and remains a solid course of freedom for this beautiful creature.

I urge you to take action and demand the release of Lolita back into the wild. What little life she has left is rapidly wasting away in confinement. Entertainment founded on cruelty is not entertainment at all, and to ignore the protections promised in the Animal Welfare Act in favor of such cruelty is a gross miscarriage of both our country's laws and belief system.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


May 24, 2018 Jana Harker
May 24, 2018 Geraldo Majela Elias de Abreu Pereira
May 24, 2018 Ankita Jain Gupta
May 24, 2018 Lina Guerrero
May 23, 2018 Samantha Herring
May 23, 2018 karen wood
May 23, 2018 Barb Breese
May 22, 2018 Peter Fell
May 22, 2018 Lori Grochowski
May 22, 2018 Theresa Rose
May 22, 2018 Davina Lee
May 22, 2018 Loreto Vargas
May 21, 2018 M T
May 21, 2018 Marisol Ackerman
May 21, 2018 Marisol Ackerman
May 21, 2018 Mary Koski
May 21, 2018 Lily Wong
May 20, 2018 Sue White
May 15, 2018 Leila Martirez
May 15, 2018 Kelly Rogers
May 15, 2018 Sherie Gomas
May 14, 2018 Marianne Cresci
May 14, 2018 Naia Vincent
May 14, 2018 Deborah Berwick
May 14, 2018 Catherine Wilcox Have a heart for innocent, lonely Lolita the orca, she doesn't deserve this.
May 13, 2018 marcel matias
May 13, 2018 u rabe
May 13, 2018 Randy Sallan
May 11, 2018 GUNTHER RUCKL
May 11, 2018 Becky Tank
May 10, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 9, 2018 Corinne WOITIEZ
May 7, 2018 VANESSA MANGIARANO
May 5, 2018 J.R. Freedman
May 3, 2018 Linda Millemaci
May 3, 2018 Lisa Saunders
May 2, 2018 Richard Bosboom
May 2, 2018 Richard Bosboom
May 2, 2018 Richard Bosboom
Apr 30, 2018 Gabriele Jefferson
Apr 29, 2018 Gerald Ryan
Apr 29, 2018 Birgit Ditto
Apr 23, 2018 Pat Williams
Apr 23, 2018 Marie Flanigan STOP THE CRUELTY TO ANIMALS. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO THIS
Apr 23, 2018 Christine Fernando
Apr 22, 2018 Eva Avrampou
Apr 22, 2018 Marion Barbour
Apr 15, 2018 LUCY JENSON
Apr 15, 2018 lidia Bankosz
Apr 15, 2018 Ken Martin

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