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Miami Seaquarium may face animal cruelty charges

Miami Killer Whale Lolita

PETA has asked the State Attorney to file charges against the Seaquarium for the mistreatment of killer whale Lolita

PETA, an organization that advocates for the ethical treatment of animals, has recently filed a criminal complaint against the Miami Seaquarium due to the severe conditions in which they are holding Lolita, an Orca who lives alone in a tank that is too small for her. 

The organization is urging the Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate and press charges of animal cruelty against the aquarium. Lolita was taken away from her family and pulled from the ocean 49 years ago. In that time, she has been confined to what is thought to be the smallest killer whale tank in the world. The tank is shallow and made of concrete and Lolita lives in solitude. 

The tank prohibits Lolita from doing natural things, like diving, swimming far distances, sheltering from the sun, feeling the current of the ocean, and forming social relationships with other animals of the same species. According to marine mammal experts, Lolita is exhibiting clear signs of psychological trauma, including redundant abnormal behavior. 

"For decades, Lolita has languished inside a tiny tank without being able to live a real life and unable to protect herself from the scorching sun. She is attacked by dolphins and forced to perform tricks in exchange for dead fish as a reward,". 

President of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk

These conditions prove that the Miami Seaquarium has violated the state’s animal cruelty law by imposing extreme levels of stress, nervousness, suffering and injury on Lolita. PETA, whose motto is “animals are not ours for entertainment,” is aiming to release Lolita from the aquarium. 

The goal is to send Lolita to a coastal sanctuary, where she would have the freedom to dive, swim and develop natural behavior, all of which she has been deprived of for almost half a century. 

You can learn more about how to protect our animals and donate to the cause by visiting PETA’s website in English or Spanish.

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