Help bring Lolita home

Lolita is a orca from the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington State, who was captured and stolen from her family four decades ago. You might remember her story from the documentary Blackfish and Lolita: Slave to Entertainment.

Lolita c/o ALDFShe’s been languishing in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquariam. The Endangered Species Act protects members of the Southern Resident orca population, but Lolita has been excluded from being protected–until now.

Thanks to pressure from PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made a decision that could free Lolita. The NMFS agreed that Lolita deserves the same protection as her wild family.

Even if Lolita cannot be truly wild and free, she deserves to live in peace without being forced to perform tricks for food. She hasn’t seen another orca in 30 years–a cruel  situation for a social animal. A sea pen in the Puget Sound would give her space, natural sounds and sights, and the change to reconnect with her family.

Plus, Lolita’s mother is still alive! Reuniting the two would give Lolita a good chance at freedom.

Help now!

Please share your support for Lolita here. Let the government know you support their decision to include Lolita in her family’s ESA listing. Please tell them that her current conditions are causing her to suffer, and that you want her moved to a seaside sanctuary in her home waters under expert care.

Comments will be accepted until March 28th, but why wait? Add a brief note now–and help bring Lolita home!

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Tell Southwest Airlines to cut ties with SeaWorld

Southwest Airlines is renewing its commitment to promote SeaWorld, claiming its relationship with SeaWorld is about “bringing families together.”

Conversely, SeaWorld is all about tearing marine mammal families apart. For a glimpse into how they operate, check out the official page for the documentary, Blackfish (you can watch the full movie on Netflix).

SOUTHWEST_AIRLINES

PETA has reached out to Southwest Airlines, but the company isn’t listening. Now it’s your turn to tell Southwest how you feel.

Please politely urge Southwest Airlines to sever its partnership with SeaWorld. You can contact them on their web form.

Let your friends and family know as well so we can be a loud voice for orcas and other animals in captivity.

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Blackfish: A review of the new documentary

Blackfish reveals the complicated life of Tilikum, an orca born in the wild off the coast of Iceland. As a young whale, Tilikum was forcibly separated from his mother and sent to perform at a marine park in Victoria BC. He’s been in captivity since 1983 and is currently confined at SeaWorld in Florida.

The documentary reveals the frustrations Tilikum has endured and how he’s been picked on by other whales in his pool, cooped up in a dark “garage” of sorts during off seasons, and forced to perform year in and year out.

Orcas similar to Tilikum

Out of his frustrations, grew an aggression that wild orcas don’t display toward humans. Tilikum has killed three people, two of which were trainers.

The movie shows the horrors of wild capture and captive breeding. It documents the unnatural acts orcas are forces to perform in front of clueless audiences. The charade SeaWorld conducts is shameful. They lead people into believing these beautiful whales somehow enjoy their time in captivity and are safe and happy.

On the contrary, an orca’s life in captivity is extremely short. They live on average for 9 years from the time they are captives–regardless of how old they were when they entered captivity. In the wild, male orcas can live about 60 years; females up to 100.

Orcas, also called killer whales, live in family units called pods. Each pod speaks a different “language.” They live with or near their pod for their whole lives and travel about 100 miles a day. They are extremely social and have highly developed emotions. To see families separated and grief-stricken and captive whales isolated in concrete pools was heartbreaking. But the film is an important movie to watch.

Blackfish will be released in NY and LA later this summer, and more widely after that. CNN Documentaries is distributing the film on TV in the fall.

It’s a terrific resource and the things you’ll learn apply to all captive marine animals. Sadly, SeaWorld is one of the better marine parks. There are many more orcas who languish is worse conditions, including many at Canada’s Marineland.

What to do

First of all, never go to a marine park like SeaWorld or Marineland. Ask your friends not to go and talk to schools about canceling field trips to marine parks. Marine parks exist for one reason, and one reason alone: making money. Vote with your dollars and spend your time and money somewhere else.

Look at the websites below for information about how to help. Two orcas, Morgan and Lolita, are great candidates for release.

Resources

Blackfish website – Information about the movie, including the trailer and upcoming screenings.

Orca Network – Information about whales in the Pacific Northwest, creating safe whale habitats, and the Free Lolita campaign.

Voice of the Orcas – Interview and current event about conservation and activism.

Miami Sea Prison - Information about captive orcas and the fight to release Lolita, the last surviving whale from the L Pod hunt in 1970.

Free Morgan Foundation – The campaign to release Morgan, an orca currently in captivity in The Netherlands.

Marineland Animal Defense - A campaign to end animal captivity at Marineland in Niagara Falls Canada.

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