Celebrity Bob Barker, former host of ‘The Price Is Right’, has added his voice to the growing chorus against keeping whales and dolphins in captivity – he recently donated over two million dollars to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and made a public service video (see below). Groups such as The Orca Project are emerging as strong proponents against captivity and are working with long time advocates such as Orca Network and Save Lolita to increase the pressure to return captive whale “Lolita” to her family – and are counting on your help.
Lolita, the captive Southern Resident orca, was violently taken from her family decades ago and is forced to live with dolphins in a sub-standard pool at the Miami Seaquarium. Dozens of organizations have been working to gain her release but have gotten the same run around from government officials who maintain that the whale is adequately cared for – but recently The Orca Project has decided “… we are taking the fight to the next level and to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the USDA internal auditor that has cited the Eastern Regional Division of APHIS for not enforcing the law, not finding violations, and not assessing fines.”
They are asking for your help (see the full article, http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/usda-aphis-fails-killer-whale-lolita-at-miami-seaquarium/).
A call to action, and what you can do to help.
The Office of the Inspector General has a “Hotline” for reporting violations related to USDA programs such as; fraud, employee misconduct, mismanagement, conflict of interest, etc. The hotline tips can be submitted online, by email, by phone, by mail. Here’s the link to the OIG’s hotline: http://www.usda.gov/oig/hotline.htm
Below are sample letters to APHIS Administrators
Press Release by Orca Nework: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs077/1101447505873/archive/1105850825303.html
What else YOU can do:
*Tell your friends and families not to visit or support Marine Mammal Parks like Miami Seaquarium, SeaWorld and Six Flags.
*Call your Congressman and elected officials and tell them not to support Marine Mammal captivity. To locate your government officials, click here.
Additionally, Hunter Shaffer, a 13-year-old disabled activist from New York State who is dedicated to retiring Lolita to her native waters in Washington, says, “Orcas are highly intelligent and social marine mammals that typically swim 75-100 miles a day and repeatedly dive to several hundred feet. Lolita is alone and cannot swim any distance except in tight circles in a pool that is not as deep as she is long.” Shaffer has gathered over 1,700 signatures on a petition asking APHIS to help “retire Lolita from the Miami Seaquarium, and rehabilitate her in Puget Sound.” Please sign and share widely.
Although Barker may be targeting SeaWorld in his remarks, it looks as though the video may have been filmed elsewhere – which only shows that all theme parks that display whales and dolphins should be avoided.