Her world was a vast blue, teeming with adventures and possibilities. New discoveries awaits eager and curious orcas just like little Lolita. But her dreamy world of blue turned turbulent and deadly in August 8, 1970. The culprit? Us, humans. Chaos was all around that day as speedboats and explosives were used to round up 80 orcas. 7 were captured including baby Lolita, who was just 4 years old then.
Let’s not forget that orcas are sentient beings. They have their own languages and social structures. They experience love and emotions. The agonizing pain and trauma of being snatched away from your home, from friends, from your mother is something that most of us can’t even bear to imagine. How must that have felt for young Lolita?
Cruelty for Entertainment
Why did this cruelty have to happen? The simple answer is greed. Because someone figured out that cute orcas like Lolita can be trained to jump, flip their fins and give rides to people. And this kind of entertainment sells. And sell tickets she does. Lolita is in fact the most famous orca living in captivity.
For our entertainment Lolita has been swimming in misery for 5 decades in Miami Seaquarium. Performing the same tricks and routine over and over again, day in and day out. Her vast home of blue ocean was reduced to a small concrete tank. She’s been without her family, without friends, and without her mother. She’s the loneliest orca in the world. This has been her life since being captured.
Why Bother Being Involved?
Thousands of animals are being captured each year for profit and for our entertainment. The fact that animals being used for our entertainment has been a norm for many decades is very disturbing. It speaks volume of what we are willing to accept as normal to rid ourselves from feelings of guilt. We’ve closed our eyes and ears and feigned ignorance for too long. This has to stop. We need to be better as species. We need to understand the fact that the lives of these creatures do not belong to us. And that they should be free to live their lives in their natural world.
Would it actually matter if you get involved? Yes, it would and it does. After years of protests and calls for Lolita to retire and be released, finally the Miami Seaquarium under new management, released a statement saying Lolita will no longer be performing along with Lii, the Pacific white-sided dolphin that shares her tank. After 52 years in captivity, this is a hopeful development that one day she may return home and be reunited with her family who to this day still swims in the same waters where she was captured.
The Dolphin Project
Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day in April 22, 1970, the Dolphin Project has been fighting for the welfare of dolphins all over the world and has achieved many important victories for these wonderful sea creatures. Ric along with his team has opened our eyes to the brutal dive hunts practice in Taiji Japan which was featured in the 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove”. Another important win was the successful shutting down of the traveling dolphin circus in Indonesia. The Dolphin Project continues to raise their voice calling to end the cruel practice of captivity. Ric is one among the voices pleading for Lolita to be set free.
The Dolphin Legend Bracelet
We are one with the Dolphin Project’s call to end the practice of dolphin exploitation, slaughter, and captivity. We have partnered with them to support their important work including rehabilitating captive dolphins for retirement and/or release. Wear the Dolphin Legend Bracelet and add your voice calling for ending captivity.