Target: Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, Eastern Regional Director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA
Goal: Revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license
For 42 years, the Miami Seaquarium has been the home of Lolita, a killer whale captured in in Washington waters in August 1970. She lives alone in a puddle that is 20 feet deep and 35 feet wide. Lolita is 22 feet long. If this sounds unacceptable, that’s because it is. The law states that an orca’s tank should be 48 feet long, but that is still a bathtub to an mammal that usually swims 80 miles a day, constantly communicates with its pod, and hunts and plays socially. She has been alone since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo voluntarily killed himself by ramming the sides of his tank causing a brain aneurysm.
Awareness is being raised to support The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Orca Network, PETA, and a myriad of private citizens as they have filed a lawsuit against the USDA for tolerating the Miami Seaquarium’s illegal enclosures and inhumane treatment of several sea mammals in their park.
Lolita is the only one of six of the captured orcas of that day still living in captivity. The capture was particularly gruesome, causing four youngsters to drown trying to reach their mothers during the trapping. Their bodies were slit open and weighted with rocks to keep them out of the public spotlight. Since Lolita is kept in unimaginable solitary confinement, she has had increasing media attention, including a documentary film made to help bring attention to her condition. She still vocalizes in her solidarity, and recognizes the calls of her family, the L Pod of Puget Sound, and replies when they are played for her.
It is imperative that we act now to put pressure on Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer, the Eastern Regional Director of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the USDA. She has the power to decide that the Miami Seaquariun does not deserve an exhibitor license while they maintain a high death rate for dolphins, sea lions, manatees, and other mammals, in addition to holding Lolita in conditions which hopelessly deny her even a sliver of her biological and psychological needs. Urge Dr. Goldentyer to revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s license and free Lolita from this horrible captivity.
Dear Dr. Elizabeth Goldentyer,
We share a visceral concern with millions of others who despise the fact that Lolita the orca whale is still confined in conditions that barely keep her alive at the Miami Seaquarium. Please hold yourself to the highest ethical standards when you examine her capture, her solitary existence, and her illegal cement tank. We urge you to revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license.
Since you have the power to put an end to Lolita’s imprisonment, and supportive organizations offer to bring her back to Puget Sound, there is no good excuse to keep her confined. That decision would only contradict the message of interspecies concern and appreciation that aquariums seek to cultivate in the first place.
When you help revoke the Miami Seaquarium’s exhibitor license, you will be regarded as a woman with a strong moral compass, and your example would truly help instill the true compassion for animals that eclipses ephemeral capitalistic interests.
[Your Name Here]