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article imageInternational demonstrations to retire Lolita the Killer Whale Special

By Andrew Moran     May 15, 2010 in Environment
Toronto - May 15 has been unofficially dubbed as the International Day of Protest for Lolita. Worldwide demonstrations were held on Saturday for the “retirement” of Lolita who is currently held in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium.
Lolita is a large female orca that is believed to be 43-years-old and was captured in 1970. She has drawn the attention from the international community because she is kept in a tank that is too small for her, according to the standards set by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
The whale is approximately 21 feet long and weighs 7,000 pounds but her tank is 20 feet deep, 12 feet deep around the edges and the pool is only 35 feet wide. Critics want you to ask yourself what it’s like to be a whale and be stuck in a small tank for 40 years.
In 2003, Lolita’s story became the subject of a documentary titled “Lolita: Slave to Entertainment,” which was directed by Tim Gorski and features dolphin activists Richard O’Barry and Russ Rector.
According to Save Lolita, global demonstrations were held on Saturday at noon to raise awareness about Lolita and Seaquarium’s treatment of the orca. More than thirty cities took part in the protests, including Toronto.
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the cap...
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the captivity of Lolita the Killer Whale, which has been housed in a small tank in Miami.
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the cap...
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the captivity of Lolita the Killer Whale, which has been housed in a small tank in Miami.
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the cap...
A small rally was held in Toronto at the corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street to protest the captivity of Lolita the Killer Whale, which has been housed in a small tank in Miami.
“We are not talking about freeing Lolita. We are talking about retiring Lolita. She's going to die in that tank and they want to make as much money from her as they can,” said O’Barry who took part in the protest held in front of the Miami Seaquarium, reports the Sun Sentinel.
Toronto’s protest saw about 10 people providing information and awareness to Torontonians and showing unity among ocean activists as two signs stated: “Ocean Activists United. International Grassroots Action.”
If Lolita is in an illegal tank, why aren’t the proper authorities stepping in? According to the Times Colonist, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed that Lolita’s tank “meets the intent and the letter of the law with regard to space requirements for orcas.”
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