Endangered Orca Whale Lolita at Risk – Miami Seaquarium Makes a “Rave”-ing Lunatic Decision

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This week it was reported that two dolphins died at an amusement park in Switzerland following the loud noise of the music and possible drugging by partying guests (see previous post) when a two day Rave event was held there, yet the Miami Seaquarium refuses to alter plans to hold a huge loud party on their grounds on November 25th.
From a business point of view, and given the sheer numbers of event planners and guests involved, it is easy to understand that changing venues at such short notice would be difficult. Yet you can’t help but wonder why the seaquarium agreed to hold the event on their grounds in the first place – even though the event, the White Party, is designed to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness, the bottom line is the same – it will be loud and presents a real hazard.
“Miami Seaquarium is proud to welcome all the White Party Week guests to South Florida with this special offer to get in the water with dolphins for a truly memorable experience,” said Eric Eimstad, Vice President of Marketing at the Miami Seaquarium. (sfgn.com). It is all about the money that the partyers will bring – for instance the opportunity to swim with a dolphin costs $199.00 plus tax.
There will be loud music all night, hordes of people under the influence of one thing or another, and to cap it off, fireworks.

Lolita's small pool has no cover and no way to escape the noise.

Having to endure this is Tokitae,  a member of an endangered orca population.  Her stage name is “Lolita”, and she will be in a nearby pool.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund:

Lolita is an orca who has been living in a barren tank at the Miami Seaquarium for the past four decades. She has had no orca companions since 1980. She was captured in the wild in the 1970s, from the “Southern Resident” killer whale distinct population segment.
Despite the fact that her pod is considered endangered and as such enjoys the protections of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) has chosen to exempt the captive members of her species from ESA protections. NMFS has provided no reason for this regulatory exemption.
NMFS’ failure to provide Lolita with the protections enjoyed by the wild members of her pod has enabled the Miami Seaquarium to keep this highly intelligent and social animal in conditions that violate the Endangered Species Act. NMFS has clearly stated that the Endangered Species Act “applies to both wild and captive populations of a species.
Urge the NMFS to include captive members of Lolita’s Southern Resident pod in ESA protections provided to pod members living in the wild.

Hopefully the seaquarium will have security guards present, and will have trainers there to watch over her for signs of stress, because this event may cause problems for her or the other dolphin species at the amusement park.  You can contact the Miami Seaquarium to lodge a complaint about the planned event, it just takes a minute or two.
Go to: Sign the petition to take action now to help with Lolita’s legal defense.

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