Miami News

A Sign of Hope for Lolita?

Lolita, the Orca whale, will be able to receive medical help and treatment from external vets and PETA says that’s a START!

In a major win for animal activists and the public in general, Miami Dade County has finally allowed third-party vets to visit the Miami Seaquarium to evaluate their resident Orca, Lolita, aka Toki.

Why this is such an important step

Torn from her mother over 50 years ago, Lolita or Tokitae is one of the most famous Orcas in the world. She has been a part of the Miami Seaquarium for decades, and this decision that comes in light of new ownership allows the county more access to her care.

It will allow third-party vets onto the premises periodically to deliver quality medical care and look after her needs as she ages. However, they did not state whether she would be moved or retired any time soon.

How this change is a step in the right direction

Any step to help these magnificent creatures is one in the right direction and considered a win. It is, by no means, a small win, given that Orcas tend to be highly abused and neglected in performance settings, and this show of goodwill by Miami-Dade County and The Dolphin Company will potentially save the lives of many more marine animals.

An orca jumps backward into the water during a performance.

What PETA has to say

The PETA Foundation’s Vice President who is also their Deputy General Counsel for Animal Law Jared Goodman has sent a list of top expert veterinarians who have the expertise to evaluate Lolita to Commissioner Regalado and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. PETA continues to call out the Miami Seaquarium for their abusive practices and are urging them to take the necessary steps towards the release of Lolita to a nearby coastal sanctuary.

PETA does not give up their decade long struggle to get Lolita the peace and quite she deserves not just because she is a majestically beautiful mammal but because she is old. The fact that she has been in what PETA refers to as a “concrete cell” serving an undeserved 50 plus year sentence off the coast of Miami-Dade County is a true shame and we can do better than this as a county.

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