WDC supports petition to list Lolita in US Endangered Species Act

WDC has written to the United States' National Marine Fisheries Service in support of a petition filed jointing by Animal Defense League Fund, PETA and The Orca Network to list Lolita, a female orca held in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium in the US Endangered Species Act, along with the rest of the Southern Resident orca population. US law requires Federal agencies to publish notices of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to enable public participation in the decision-making process through the provision of comments in support or opposition.

Lolita was captured along with 11 other Southern Resident orcas in 1970 in the waters of Washington State. Five other orcas, including four calves, died during the capture. All the other orcas captured from this population died within five years of the capture, as did another Southern Resident and Lolita's pool mate, Hugo, who died in 1980. Since then, Lolita has remained with no others of her kind in a tank that does not even meet the inadequate requirements of US legislation for the keeping of orcas in captivity.

The Southern Resident population of orcas was listed as endangered in 2005 and continues to face a large host of threats from pollution, increased shipping activity, including personal watercraft and commercial whale-watch boats, as well as concerns over availability of their preferred prey (Chinook salmon). Past live captures for the aquarium industry is thought to have contributed to their endangered status. In spite of there being no logical or legal reason for Lolita's exclusion from the listing, it is thought she was excluded because she is in captivity. Lolita meets all the criteria for listing.

WDC also supports Lolita's rehabilitation in a sea pen in her natural waters, with the possibility of release into her wild population, which could contribute to the long-term conservation of the Southern Residents by adding another individual to the population at best, or increasing our understanding of these majestic marine mammals in a more natural setting at worse. These contributions to the recovery of the population could be could be vital, but are likely not possible without first extending the protections of the ESA to Lolita. 

Comments

This is inhumane. We need to teach our children compassion not confinement. Free all the sea creatures stop destroying their lives and our ocean as well as our futures.

This is inhumane. We need to teach our children compassion not confinement. Free all the sea creatures stop destroying their lives and our ocean as well as our futures.

Please release Lolita & reintroduce her to the wild and her family.

Please let Lolita retire!!!!!!!!!!!!! She has done her time against her will & needs peace.

Please release Lolita, set her free!

Please release Lolita. Every day that we delay, to us, is just the time it takes to deal with things like this. But to Lolita, who has already sacrificed so much, every single day is another day in a living hell. Please, please, please...do whatever must be done to right this wrong. Thank you for your time.

No wild animal belongs in captivity. Aquaprisons are barbaric and against nature.
Respect nature, stop this form of eco-terrorism & release her please!
She's an intelligent, emotional & social being... just like we are. Would you like to be kidnapped?!
This is no longer acceptable!!

Free Lolita!! Free them ALL!

Please free Lolita, it´s very cruel for such a wonderful being to be caged alone in this little tank!

Please free Lolita, it's a shame to keep her alone in such a little space!

Please free Lolita! It's so cruel and unfair that she is kept captive, shame on you who did this!

It's time for humans to evolve and free all animals from slavery...

No animal should be held in captivity EVER! Especially if they are exploited for money and for human entertainment! Can you imagine what it would be like if one of us was abducted from our home, held in captivity for the rest of our lives just to entertain people? It is inhumane and wrong in so many ways. Please release Lolita back to her home!

It's time for humans to evolve and free all animals from slavery...

There's absolutely no reason to keep a killer whale in captivity. It's in humane. Imagine keeping yourself locked up in a jail cell to live out the rest of your life and only taken out to the yard to exercise in the confines of a chain link fence one our a day forced to do tricks for the public. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE PUBLIC DOES WHEN THEY SPEND MONEY GOING TO SEA WORLD AND MIAMI MARINE PARK. Let this whale free!!!!

As human beings it disgusts me that we could treat these amazing creatures in this way. Whales belong in the ocean nowhere else! FREE HER NOW!!!

All creatures have the right to live their lives free from the enslavement of human greed and entertainment. It is time to free all cetaceans world wide.

Release Lolita! Whales are not meant to be captured!!

There is a very thin line between animal friendly and animal abuser. When animals are held in captivity they no longer have rights and they are constantly abused, they deserve to be free!

We should be smarter about finding ways to entertain ourselves, captivity should be part of the past.

Born to be free, born to be wild! Free all animals in captvity!

Enough Orcas have died in captivity. When is there going to be enough scientific evidence to overrule humany's immorality for ecomical gain at the price of slow and unnecessary cruelty. Once bussiness owners realize they can make as much money to start looking at them in their natural habitat they could make much amore while creating stewardship and improving quality of life in the ocean. And for all the non-environmentalist-good ocean health also can be important potential growth for many industries taht depend on the health of the ocean for economic sustainability. To me it's a no brainer. But think about your kids or grandkids in twenty years do you want to be an aid in the demise and possible extinction that has a larger brain copacity and social structure than humans?

It's about time Lolita was released or retired at least to a sea pen!! She has suffered enough in her life! She doesn't belong to captivity!!! None of them do!!! Please set her free!

Free this magnificent creature of mother natures!!! Or put the owners in a cage and see how they like it

Please protect her, you humans have broken her spirit enough! And enough is enough! Have a heart!!!

Free, Lolita.....All creatures have the right to live their lives free from the enslavement of human greed and entertainment.

Please let her go back to her home in the wild. This has been a long, suffering existence for this poor child.

Let them free!!!

Please set her free and reunite her with her family!

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