Some may have fond memories of a Shamu show, or the TV series “Flipper”, or Sea World. What you may not know is the slaughter and horror behind such shows, the torture and agonizing that those “smiling” dolphins endure — some for hours, some for decades, before they’re allowed the peace of death. The truth is that many more are killed than survive. Lolita, for example, is the only surviving Orca (actually a large dolphin, not a whale) from her capture. There in that cove, nearly 40 years ago, many orcas died in capturing her and a few others. Her longest companion, Hugo, died several years ago. Since then, Lolita has been by herself. In all, she has been in captivity now, living in an illegal tank just 1 foot deeper than she is long, for 39 years.
“A life does not have to be human to be great.”
Orcas, like most all dolphins, naturally swim up to about 35 miles per hour. This means they can easily cover a couple hundred miles a day. For Lolita to do anything like that, she would have to swim SIX THOUSAND circles in her tiny pool Measuring over 20′ long, the tank they keep her in is just barely 4 times her length. Moreover, cetaceans “see” by echo-location. She’s listening to the sound of her own echo-location bouncing off of these tiny walls 24/7… Mind-boggling, enough to drive any creature insane! Now add all the shows, the maddening cauphony that she must endure… while eating carrion. This incredibly intelligent, self-aware creature being kept captive in a tiny fish bowl for nearly 4 decades…
If you’ve seen the Oscar winning film “The Cove” then you know that dolphin shows are a billion dollar a year industry. Lolita has made the Miami Seaquarium many millions of dollars in profit. It was never right to enslave her in the first place, but it’s certain that she has earned her retirement and a chance at freedom. There are places available to her in her native Pacific Northwest, safeguarded large pens in the ocean’s waters where she can become re-acclimated and sing her songs to what remains of her family, be reunited with them again. Even if it is never possible to reunite her with her original pod, she still deserves a chance to live, and even to die, free.
To keep such a creature in a little filthy tank like that is so terribly, horribly wrong that the evil of it should be self-evident. But the law has said that she is property, chattle, even though she came from the ocean. Even though it USED to be that they were held in public trust. So now the only thing we can do is to protest. To make it loud and clear that enslaving and causing this amazing creature to suffer so for so long…
If we know it’s not right to torture POWs, how can we call this any less inhuman?
- When the show is over, and the crowd has had their moments with the “wild” “killer” whale that we humans have dominated and subdued, both the audience and staff leave her there, looking out after them, aching so badly for ANY social interaction… They simply ignore her, as though she didn’t exist any more.
- This social creature would normally spend her entire life in the company of her family. They leave here behind. Landlocked in that prison, she cannot come along, nor can she break free to find her true family. It’s just a foot deeper than she is tall, at it’s deepest point! How can this enslaving be justified?
- WHAT CRIME HAS SHE DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
The more you know about this industry, the more clear it becomes that we have a moral imperative to stop this. There are several small groups intent upon gaining her freedom. All of them agree that it is wrong to keep these creatures in captivity. Please, add your links to this post via the comments section below. Free Lolita!