August 9, 2009

Activists seek release of killer whale

A killer whale at the Miami Seaquarium should be released into the wild rather than forced to live in a concrete tank, animal activists say.

Shelby Proie, one of the more than 30 activists seeking to free Lolita the killer whale, said during a protest Saturday at the Miami tourist site that the 7,000-pound animal does not deserve to be penned in an aquarium.

Every week one of us goes in to check on her, the 24-year-old Nova Southeastern University student told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. I go to the tank and tell her we're trying to get her out.

Park spokeswoman Michelle Palomino said despite activists' protests, the aquarium has no plans to release Lolita into the wild after having lived there for nearly four decades.

She's not going anywhere, Palomino said of the killer whale, which was caught and relocated to the aquarium in 1970.

Activist Simon Hutchins told the Sun-Sentinel Lolita is bored most of the time.

After the show, the orca just goes and sits in the corner, he said. It's a nightmare for this orca.