Lonely Lolita the Killer Whale

 

by Holladay Allen

Native Foods Café

 

Our friends at the Animal Legal Defense Fund (who is one of
the beneficiaries for Native Community Days this coming Tuesday, July 9th!)
recently had a feature in the Huffington Post about Lolita, an orca being held in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium.  Read
the full story here
.  Stephen
Wells, Executive Director of ALDF, details Lolita’s solitary life in “the
smallest orca tank in North America.” 
She has been there nearly 43 years!  And the “tank is so small it does not even
meet the minimum guidelines set by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).”  And she is completely alone: “In the beginning, Lolita had the company of Hugo, a male orca
who shared her tank from 1971 until 1980. They mated, but in her stressful
environment Lolita suffered unsuccessful pregnancies. In 1980, in what many
believe was a desperate attempt to break free from his miserable prison, or
commit suicide, Hugo continuously rammed his head into the side of the tank and
died of a brain aneurysm. In 1980, Hugo’s sudden death left Lolita sulking at
the bottom of her tank in a state "not unlike
bereavement
." Lolita has not had a killer whale companion
since.” (ALDF).  Isn’t is completely mind-blowing that
this is legal?  Does it make you
mad?  Well, you can get involved by
contacting ALDF legalcase@aldf.org.


Lolita-dwarfs-her-tiny-tank2

 

 

On a personal note… I grew up in Key West and visited the
Miami Seaquarium frequently, before I knew better.  I was fascinated with all things marine, especially the
larger marine life, i.e. sharks, dolphins, manta rays.  And while I can see them snorkeling or diving off the coast
of South Florida, there was nothing quite like being right there next to them…
in a tank or aquarium.  I think
Wells does an excellent job of succinctly summing up this very human
curiousity, that is almost immediately dispelled when one finds out the cruel
reality of what an animal goes through in a captive environment, zoo or
otherwise.  And I am not even
talking being physically abused by a human (which I am sure happens in some of
these institutions, but not all of them)… but just the sheer misery of being
locked in a 2000 square foot enclosure in Chicago, in the middle of Winter…
when you’re natural habitat is the part of the African continent, or an Asian
jungle with more trees than you could possibly swing on in your entire
life.  It is sad.  And it is wrong.  And we have the power to change it.  Contact ALDF to get involved in a case or campaign today.

 

Native Foods Cafe, vegan, vegan food, vegan restaurant

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