According to PETA,Â Lolita is the sole survivor of the largest orca capture in history. She has been confined for the past 45 years to the tiniest orca tank in the United Statesâ€”a tank so small that itâ€™s illegal. Despite the fact that Lolita, like the rest of the Southern Resident orca population, is protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Miami Seaquarium refuses to let her go. And her captivity is quickly becoming a dark stain on Miamiâ€™s reputation. PETA will hold a demonstration outside of the main entrance at the Miami Seaquarium on Sunday, August 9 from 12- 2 p.m. in remembrance of Lolita’s capture 45 years ago and to highlight Hugo’s death 35 years ago.
AlsoÂ LolitaÂ nowÂ has some friends in high places, thanks to PETA supporter Amy Zakarin, President & Owner of Zakarin Martinez PR. AlmostÂ a dozen Miami’s business and entertainment leaders have joined PETA in calling for Lolita to be released to a coastal sanctuary as the 45th anniversary of her capture comes this Saturday, August 8.
Quoting Mahatma Ghandi, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine says, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” He goes on to say, “Miami should be known as the beautiful, modern city that it isâ€”not as the home of the smallest orca tank in North America. This endangered animal must be released as soon as possible from the appalling conditions at the Seaquarium and moved to a sanctuary in her home waters.”
CEO and founder of The Related Group Jorge PÃ©rez agrees, saying, “Miami is one of the most progressive cities in the world. Holding orcas captive for show is no longer acceptable. It is completely necessary that we, as an international city, support the release of Lolita from her 45 years of captivity at the Miami Seaquarium”.
Alan Potamkin, co-chairman of Potamkin Automotive Group Inc., says â€œWe believe it is a disgrace that this orca has been held in captivity for so many years. She has served the public long enough and deserves to have her final years able to move in open waters.â€
DJ Irie, entertainment icon and official DJ of the Miami Heat, says “Two of Miami’s biggest attractions are its entertainment industry and natural beauty. The value in entertainment is novelty, while freedom is nature’s currency. Let’s repay Lolita and retire her today!”
Television host and model Daisy Fuentes says, â€œLolita has spent 45 years alone in a tiny barren concrete tank. We are all aware of the tragic sadness and harm inflicted upon these majestic, highly intelligent, endangered creatures in captivity. We now know it’s not entertainment. It’s just wrong. With knowledge comes responsibility. The time has come to do what’s right. We must help return Lolita to her native habitat. Her protected sea pen is ready. Miami, a city so dear to my heart, now has the opportunity to set a powerful example for the rest of the world. I urge everyone to please support this extremely overdue effort. Lolita’s future depends on the conscience of mankind. Let’s do what’s right.â€
Louis Aguirre, television anchor of The Insider, adds, “She was violently kidnapped from her mother while she was still only a baby and has spent 45 years in captivity, living in one of the smallest whale enclosures in the world, without contact with another orca for 35 of those years. It’s time to have some compassion and do what’s right. She deserves to be free for the rest of her life, as nature intended. I pray that sanity and reason prevail here.”
“It is a shock that Miami, being such a progressive and international city, allows endangered species to continue being used as circus acts,â€ said Ingrid Hoffmann, celebrity chef and author, Food Network- Telemundo NBC Universal. “Letâ€™s act as responsible, educated, compassionate human beings, living in the 21st century in the most powerful nation on earth. Letâ€™s lead by example and help Lolita.”
Courtland Lantaff, publisher of Ocean Drive magazine, says “Great strides have been made this year for rights in this country, yet we still allow animals to be imprisoned for our entertainment. After 45 years, it is time for us to rally and release back the Orcas. This is the chance for Miami to take the lead on animal rights and request that Miami Seaquarium finally retire Lolita.”
Sergio Rok, President, Rok Enterprises, says “Two generations of my family have visited the Miami Seaquarium and seen Lolitaâ€™s performance without realizing what we were supporting. Thankfully, a lot has changed, and with that, our awareness of her capture and life in captivity is something we cannot ignore. It is time to do the right thing for her and work with the experts who have a real retirement plan for Lolita. 45 years in captivity is enough.â€
Add your voice and join the call for Lolitaâ€™s release into a coastal sanctuary!Â #FreeLolita