Credit: Orca Network
– “Activists have wanted to free Lolita for 25 years. But she’ll remain at the Seaquarium, court rules”
“More than three years after activist groups sued Miami Seaquarium over its treatment of the captive orca Lolita, a federal appeals court has rejected their petition to reopen the case.
“The suit claimed that Seaquarium was violating the Endangered Species Act by confining the orca. But in a decision filed Tuesday [Oct. 9], the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that while Lolita’s case was “unique” due to her age and the continuing medical care present at the aquarium, there was “no threat of serious harm” sufficient to trigger a violation of the federal animal welfare law. The court also noted that there is “no realistic means for returning to the wild without being harmed.”
“Lolita, a Southern Resident Killer Whale thought to be about 51 years old, is the star attraction at Seaquarium, a popular tourist attraction on Virginia Key, where she has lived since her capture off Puget Sound in 1970. At 80 feet by 60 feet and 20 feet deep, her tank is the smallest orca aquarium in the country,” by Martin Vassolo, Miami Herald.
Blogger Klein is a longtime contributor to the Orca Network.