Miami Sea Aquarium: Save Lolita, She is DYING to entertain you.
Posted in the Bostwick Forum
#1 Mar 22, 2013
In August 1970, in the waters of the Puget Sound of Washington State, a pod of killer whales were attacked and rounded up by a group of killer whale herders, led by Ted Griffiths and Don Goldsberry. Using speedboats and releasing explosives in the water, they forced the orcas into Penn Cove. Babies were separated from their mothers, as the infants were prime candidates to be sold to aquariums. The orca mothers would not leave their children and cried human-like screams in vain. One adult and four baby killer whales were killed during this capture. The herders, in an attempt to keep the orca deaths from the public, slit open the bellies of the dead animals, filled them with rocks, and sank the creatures with anchors, hoping they would never be discovered. One of the orca infants captured was a 4 year old named Tokitae, who was sold to the Miami Seaquarium. She arrived at the marine park on September 24, 1970, where she was renamed ‘Lolita’ and has lived there ever since. She performs tricks during her scheduled shows, and has done so for the past forty years. Lolita’s tank that she calls home is dreadfully small, about the size of a hotel swimming pool. Lolita is approximately 21 feet long and 7,000 pounds. Per the guidelines, the tank for a killer whale the size of Lolita must be a minimum of 48 feet wide in either direction with a straight line of travel across the middle. Lolita’s tank is only 35 feet wide from the front wall to the slide out (work island) barrier*. It is 20 feet deep at the deepest point and a mere 12 feet deep around the edges. The Miami Seaquarium is in need of major repairs, and per the Marine Mammal Inventory Report, has a substantial death rate for their animals. I guess this park just keeps on and does not care about the well being of another animal. This park has to be stopped just like the rest of them. Look at all the violations that the Miami Sea Aquarium violate just so they can have Lolita. Remember, she is DYING to entertain you!
1. Lolita’s Tank Size (Space requirements for Orca): Lolita’s tank is an oval, with the dimensions of 35 feet by 80 feet. APHIS claims their measurements of the tank show it to be 60 feet by 80 feet. This is clearly incorrect.(Please note this does NOT include a small medical pool, behind a concrete barrier in the center of the tank. APHIS, by there own admission, does not include the medical tank in their measurements) You may go to Google Maps or Google Earth and enter the Seaquarium’s address (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL, 33149) to view an aerial view of Lolita’s tank and measure it. You will see it is clearly 35 feet x 80 feet. Per AWA guidelines, the tank’s 35 foot measurement should be AT LEAST 48 feet.
2. Perimeter Fence & Protection from Abuse and Harassment: Lolita’s pool does not meet AWA requirements to keep animals and unauthorized people out nor does it provide protection from abuse and harassment by the viewing public.
3. Protection from Weather and Direct Sunlight: Lolita is not afforded protection from the weather or from direct sunlight as is required by the AWA.
4. Housing with Compatible Animals: Lolita has not been in the company of another orca since 1980. This highly social animal lives in relative solitude as the AWA is interpreted to accept her dolphin tank-mates as an adequate replacement for a member of her own species.
5. Pool Environment Enhancements: Non-food objects are utilized in Lolita’s pool for stimulation which may subject her to injury through ingestion; another AWA violation.
6. Emergency Contingency Plans: The well being of Lolita and the other marine mammals are at the mercy of the toxic remnants of the Gulf oil spill, sewage contamination in Biscayne Bay and hurricane threats. APHIS has neglected to enforce AWA Emergency Contingency Plan requirements.
We suggest contacting APHIS with the six Animal Welfare Act violations listed above.
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