Endangered Species Act Listing May be Lolita’s First Step Towards Freedom


By Kirsten Massebeau

Lolita correctedA battle to return the imprisoned orca Lolita also known as Tokitae  to her family the L-Pod in the Puget Sound makes steps forward, and towards freedom. Lolita is on the verge of being listed on the Endangered Species List. NOAA is considering adding Lolita to the Endangered species list to join her other pod mates in Washington thanks to a petition. The Orca Network believes that once she is listed she must be freed, allowed to retire and return home to her family in the Puget Sound:

“This means Lolita will now, presumably, be included as a member of an endangered population and must be accorded all the legal protections provided to her extended family. That would mean that her incarceration in a concrete box for the benefit of the entertainment industry would henceforth be illegal” (source

The cruel Penn Cove round up, 1970

The cruel Penn Cove round up, August 8, 1970

For 40 years Lolita has been imprisoned at the Miami Seaquarium in one of the worlds tiniest tanks. Lolita is known as the remaining survivor of the famous Penn Cove Round up that took place August 8,1970. Seven whales were taken for captivity during the violent round up. Five other whales, including four babies drown. The victims that were killed had their bellies slit and filled with rocks in an attempt to cover up their deaths. But on November 18, 1970 the terrible secret of what happened that terrible day at Penn Cove would be revealed to the world:

“In mid-November a trawler dragged the bodies of the drowned infants into its net. The captain of the fishing boat deposited the dead baby whales on a beach in front of a Seattle newspaper reporter, and the story was immediately told to the world. Six years later this discovery played a major role in a court decision that banned Sea World from ever capturing another killer whale in Washington State”. (source)

Lolita enslaved at the Miami Seaquarium

Lolita enslaved at the Miami Seaquarium for 40 years!

Lolita has been performing at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970. The other seven whales captured with Lolita died within five years of their capture. Today Lolita the last remaining member of those captured from the Puget Sound has a chance at freedom and we can help! NOAA is asking for public comment on her upcoming Endangered Species listing. Please make a comment here. Let them know you support her addition to the endangered species listing and her eventual freedom. Isn’t it time this highly intelligent hard worker is allowed to retire and return home?

67 thoughts on “Endangered Species Act Listing May be Lolita’s First Step Towards Freedom

  1. So terrible. I watched he’d a documentary in which someone offered to buy lolita for a whopping $1 million(which is how much the insurance policy taken out on her is worth) with the intentions of releasing her back into the wild. I do not understand why the marine Park won’t take that deal.. Also another string I noticed about Lolita is her dorsal fun stands erect, while all the others I’ve seen in captivity fall to the side. I wonder if this has something to do with her survival in captivity?

  2. Please use your compassion as human beings to give Lolita her freedom after a lifetime of service. We know a lot more about the intelligence and psychology of whales than we did 40 years ago, and Lolita is showing signs of depression; it would be such a tragedy that would resonate around the world if Lolita died by committing suicide. With all the publicity Lolita has gained in the world’s media it would send a wonderfully positive message out for all organisations involved if Lolita were to be freed.

  3. As a very wise woman once said, when you know better, you do better. You know this is an aberrant way of treating one of God’s creatures. It is abuse, just the same as torture or not feeding the animals. Free this lovely orca, then get on your knees and pray your greedy soul is forgiven for the way you’ve “sold” these beautiful sea mammals.

  4. There comes a time when any decent human, in a position of responsibility over another creature’s life, realizes that a terrible injustice has been done in keeping said creature in captivity. To continue to imprison Lolita is no less an act of animal cruelty than to beat a kitten to death with a tire iron would be. To those who stand between this cetacean and freedom…it’s time to do the right, humane thing….set her free. Thank you, in advance, for demonstrating your humanity by releasing Lolita.

  5. Please free her… she deserves to spend her remaining years happy and free from suffering. As a human being awakening to what we have done to these animals… it is not ok. we can change and set it right… it is our obligation to undo what we have done. we should be coexisting peacefully with all the earth’s creatures…. only taking what we need and not exploiting them for our entertainment. whatever your something bigger is… listen to your heart and set her free.

  6. It sounds to me like she is unhappy. Please consider releasing Lolita. It is the decent thing to do. Thank you.

  7. In in full support of Lolitas addition to the endangered species list, and FULL sorry of her happiness, which means her freedom. Set her free,.

  8. Free this beauitful whale back into her natural habitat – the ocean, so she can be with other whales and be happy. Please. We do not need to keep encasing these beautiful creatures for the all mighty dollar.

  9. Please use your compassion as human beings to give Lolita her freedom after a lifetime of service. We know a lot more about the intelligence and psychology of whales than we did 40 years ago, and Lolita is showing signs of depression; it would be such a tragedy that would resonate around the world if Lolita died by committing suicide. With all the publicity Lolita has gained in the world’s media it would send a wonderfully positive message out for all organisations involved if Lolita were to be freed.

  10. Her own partner killed himself, and on top of it they were not able to have babies.
    Such a sad, depressing life, compared to the life she must of had before, Set her free.

  11. Freedom for Lolita. We are supposed to be protectors/watchers for all of Gods creatures, not their captors and worst fear. Let her live out her remaining years in peace with her family.

  12. Lolita is so important to her pod. She is so important to her species. With the resident orca populations in serious risk, we need to protect EVERY animal left. Especially sexually mature females! Her protection is crucial! Please do not exclude her from her family. She needs this protection just as much if not more than them! She is abused every day! Please include her on the ESL.

  13. There was a time when we were ignorant to the brilliance and mental capacity of these creatures. But ignorance is no longer an excuse. We know how distressing a situation such as this is on Lolita. In good conscience, LET HER GO!

  14. Please please free lolia. She has done her sebtence .she has earnt seaquatica thousands. Let her retire and spend hwr last years with dignity and her family

  15. So so sad to see this beautiful creature in captivity. What an awful existence. For goodness sake … SET HER FREE!

  16. Haven’t 4 decades of abusing and exploiting her been enough? What is WRONG with you? Dolphin are not mere animals; nor are they your slaves. Only a psychopath could kidnap and enslave and humiliate THE most intelligent creature on the planet. Humans can’t be the most intelligent or we would never have allowed this barbaric practice to transpire.

  17. Please let her go, she has served 40 years in that toxic prison , if she dies in the wild because of release, at least she will die free as she should have been all her life

  18. Please give Lolita her freedom, she has lost so much over her 40 years of service. It would be a sad day if she died all alone in her tank. Give her a chance for peace and happiness, please

  19. reduce in slavery a it is synonymous rudeness and inhumanity d to have born free….it is shameful to gain on the skin of these poor animals exploiting also their intellective capacities….the captivity would have to be dispensed in every world state…

  20. Why do humans think they gave the right to treat these beautiful creatures with such disrespect, Lolita should be wild and free the way nature intended, a small swimming pool is not a natural environment for an orca, free her and let get go back to her pod where she belongs.

  21. let us prove to ourselves that we as people are less reptile and more mammal by using compassion as a compass like the cetaceans do.
    “A nation’s greatness can be measured by how it treats animals”
    -Gandhi

  22. It is time for humans too stop. Stop the animal trade and give them back too nature. It is not supposed too be like this. We should live i harmoni with all creatures. Not put them where they do not belong and take them away from their familys:(

  23. This poor animal has lived a life of hell since being stolen from her family. This has been such a big wrong but with all we know now about Cetaceans, it’s time to put it right.

  24. Lolita is so important to her pod. She is so important to her species. With the resident orca populations in serious risk, we need to protect EVERY animal left. Especially sexually mature females! Her protection is crucial! Please do not exclude her from her family. She needs this protection just as much if not more than them! She is abused every day! Please include her on the ESL.

  25. I don`t think you would like to live in a place wich is not bigger than a guest restroom. Why she has too? Let her go!

  26. This is absolute bullshit.
    Every person involved in this whales life being spent out in that kiddie pool should have to spend a month in a jail cell with two monkeys. That’s humane, ja?
    The Humane Societies should check out every single worker and owners houses for signs of neglect or abuse to any other animals they may have.
    This is a sentient being, people!
    Why will our country fap for months over some slut having a baby, or some foreigner getting married, when there are actual, real, important things happening?
    …God I hate our country.

  27. It baffles me how the Miami Seaquarium can keep such a beautiful and merciful creature like Lolita locked up for 40 years without companionship or space to even move.. After 40 years of involuntary servitude, you still believe that she somehow owes it to you to stay where she is and suffer so you can make a profit off of exploiting her. And what does she get in return? Certainly nothing to benefit her well being (like, say, a larger holding tank– I’m pretty sure you could have managed to reconstruct her pool more than once in the last half century with all that money she made you. You’re welcome, not really). After four decades of her slaving for you, Miami Sea Prison, you think you would be gracious enough to thank her for her service. But of course, you only refuse to give her a better life simply because you “love her too much to let her go.” I have never heard of anything so selfish. Let us put you in a small cage alone, deny you all rights to be your own species, and force you to jump around like a circus monkey in front of hundreds of people daily. See how you like it. Lolita is a Southern Resident Killer Whale. Captivity does not change that. Her imprisonment should NOT dismiss her from being a part of her own family. It’s time you stop treating her as if she willingly jumped into your boat and begged you to sell her as a commodity in hell. YOU owe her your entire business. Without Lolita, you’re nothing. She deserves to finally be recognized and associated with her own family. Owner of Miami Sea Prison, I mean this sincerely, go burn in that firey place below your feet.. FREEDOM FOR LOLITA!!

  28. Unfortunately i don’t think this poor girl would be able to live in the wild again, but i am APPALLED that she has been forced to live a life of solitude for so long.

    Miami you disgust me, you are animal abusers.

  29. Please include Lolita under the endangered animals act. Just because she was taken from her pod doesn’t make her any less important. By including Lolita, the door for her freedom will be open, where over time she might even be able to breed and help get the declining numbers back on track.

  30. I wish and pray that Lolita will be free to swim her remaining years in the waters of her home. She is a beauty and needs to be free. It is a true $hame that she is not yet free. Never buy a ticket. Free Lolita. Retire Lolita.

  31. Let us show our humanity by stopping all captivity of these amazing, intelligent and highly social beings. It is time to end this cruel practice forever.

  32. Please right this wrong by allowing Lolita to finally be reunited with her family after her 40 year prison sentence. Please list Lolita on the Endangered Species act.

  33. Poor Lolita, imprisoned for 40 years ..wow…disgusting..these creatures are meant for freedom out in the ocean..how would u like to be in jail for 40 yrs?

  34. List Lolita on the endangered species act. She’s been performing for 40 years and now its the time for her to be free and be with her family in the wild.

  35. Lolita has served her time and earned The Miami Seaquarium plenty of money in her many years in captivity. Orcas are extremely intelligent animals who in the wild would never leave their Mothers. There is so much evidence to prove that she can be happily rehabilitated back into her natural home, the ocean with her family pod where she belongs! Please have a heart for the loneliest Orca in the world and do the right thing by allowing her to go home! She deserves her freedom. And we will all work together to come up with the funds with the help of activists, animal welfare groups, famous people who are with this cause, and many other organizations to get her there! FREEDOM FOR LOLITA!! <3

  36. List Lolita on the endangered species act. She’s been performing for 40 years and now its the time for her to be free and be with her family in the wild.

  37. You have all my support from argentina. We have the same war here with kshamenk, i’m pretty sure you have heard of him. I thin what they do to this animals is just insane so i’ll help u with all i can even if it’s something simple like sign this. FREEDOM FOR LOLITA

  38. Lolita should be placed on the endangered species list so she can be returned to freedom which she deserves. She has endured cruel and unusual treatment just so paying visitors can see her breech out of the pool. They can go to Puget Sound and see the same species breech out of the water and they are free.

  39. Pingback: Endangered Species Act Listing May be Lolita’s First Step Towards Freedom | Our Endangered Planet and it's Wildlife.

  40. It is time to return this abducted Orca to her home. I can only hope that listing them on the endangered species list will accomplish this.

      • I dont believe she can/should be released. Retired to a LARGE pen in the ocean yes, but full release no. Shes been in that pond too long and alone too long. it would not benefit her mental health.

  41. Poor Lolita, imprisoned for 40 years to entertain the unthinking public! This is immoral, cruel and reprehensible!

  42. Whales Dolphins Porpoises are highly sensative beings they should not be subjected to inhumane treatment of capture then torture to make them perform tricks for our amusement then made live in an under sized fish bowl.Have you ever seen one of these creatures in the wild well I have and it is one of the most beautiful things in the world to see them with the other members of their pod in the open sea it makes me believe there is truely a God.

  43. Please allow Lolita to be set free as nature intends it to be. This sad story can have a happy ending

  44. Pingback: Endangered Species Act Listing May be Lolita’s First Step Towards Freedom | Kirsten Writes

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