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Free Lolita Update 118

Lolita Update #118
40 years in a tiny tub
July 20, 2010

BP Oil Spill Endangers Lolita and Other Florida Captive Marine Mammals

 width=The Gulf oil spill caused by oil giant BP is now threatening captive marine mammals in Florida, including Lolita.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that there was a "61%-80% chance" that the BP oil spill will reach the Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami by mid-August. All 8 large tanks at the Seaquarium recieve seawater pumped directly from Biscayne Bay, adjacent to the currents that are expected to carry the oil. Large clumps of weathered tar balls followed by oil-laden currents may be fast approaching, especially due to hurricanes and other storms.

The millions of gallons of dispersants sprayed to hide the oil increase the toxic effects, according to toxicologists. The Seaquarium is required to have an evacuation plan on file with the USDA, but no plan has been located and so far the Seaquarium hasn't explained how the animals will be protected.

August 8, 2010 - 40th anniversary
commemoration of Lolita's capture

August 8, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Lolita's capture from her family, the Southern Resident orcas, in Penn Cove off Whidbey Island, WA.

Click HERE to download this poster as a .pdf file
to print, and post it wherever you can.

To commemorate this anniversary, Orca Network is holding several events throughout the day and evening on the waters and shore of Penn Cove to remember all the orcas who died during the captures or in captivity, and to honor Lolita, or Tokitae, the sole survivor of those taken from the Southern Resident orcas.

We are excited to have Ric O'Barry (star of "The Cove") join us in Coupeville for this important event. Ric was a former dolphin trainer for the "Flipper" show at the Miami Seaquarium, but when a dolphin died in his arms he was transformed into a full time activist who has fought against dolphins in captivity for decades, and in the film "The Cove" has brought awareness of this issue to a whole new level.

Sunday afternoon August 8th at 3 pm, join us on Penn Cove in your kayak, row boat, or any kind of vessel, for a ceremonial paddle/sail/motor around the perimeter of the capture site on Penn Cove. We'll have a wreath ceremony on the water, and Capt. John Stone has generously offered his Cutty Sark for those who want to be on board with Ric O'Barry and other special guests for the ceremony and a short cruise of Penn Cove (very limited space available - tickets $50/person). Kayaks and small boats can be launched from Capt. Coupe Park in Coupeville.

Following the on-the-water events, join us at the Coupeville Wharf from 5 - 6:30 pm for a Reception with Ric O'Barry and other guest speakers, and view displays of the Penn Cove captures.

Concluding the event will be an evening of presentations at the Coupeville Library beginning at 6:30 pm with a silent auction, coffee and desserts, followed by guest speakers including Ric O'Barry, Ken Balcomb (invited), and Howard Garrett, as well as witnesses of the captures sharing their memories.

All events except the Cutty Sark sail are free and open to the public.

Limited seating is available, so please RSVP if you plan on attending.

Contact Orca Network or check out our website for more information.

Other demos are shown below to mark the 40th year of Lolita's confinement for our amusement. If you can, please set up a demo or event in your location. Make some signs, call some friends or animal-friendly groups, and help Lolita come home to her retirement cove.

Lolita Awareness Demonstration in Victoria, BC

August 8 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Government Street and View Street intersection downtown
Contact Diane McNally for more about how to join this demonstration

The Second annual "Walk for Lolita" in Miami

Everyone, it's that time again. The Second annual "Walk for Lolita" hosted by Orca Network and is coming up on the 40th anniversary of her capture, August 8, 2010. The Miami Chapter of this event will be holding a walk along Key Biscayne starting at 12 Noon at the first beach after the bridge on Key Biscayne and ending with a peaceful demonstration outside the entrance to the MSQ parking lot that will go on until at least 2PM. We are asking for everyone to promote and show up to this event.

As the Deepwater Horizon oil spill makes it's way towards the waters of Biscayne Bay, Lolita's life, along with the other animals residing at the SQ are in jeopardy. The Seaquarium uses an open water system that directly pumps its water from Biscayne Bay into the tanks of its marine mammals, this could spell disaster for Lolita and the others WHEN the chemical dispersants and oil plumes reach Miami waters. So, this year the urgency for Lolita to be retired back to the waters of the Pacific Northwest has reached a level of life or death. Let's show Miami and the world that Lolita would be much safer in a bay pen by her family than living in an illegally sized tank that will be pumped full of petroleum hydrocarbons.

Please pass this info along to all that you think will be interested, and keep checking back to see other chapters of the "Walk for Lolita" to be popping up all over the country. If you are interested in hosting an event where you live send me an email to:

Much Thanks.
Shelby Proie

Talking Tilikum (And Killer Whales) On NPR this Wednesday

From Tim Zimmermann

Just a heads up that NPR's On Point will do a show this Wednesday on Tilikum, Dawn Brancheau, and killer whales. I'll talk about Killer In The Pool (this article in Outside magazine is the definitive account of the history of the captivity industry) from 11am-noon EST; check listing for local broadcast times). Ken Balcomb (Executive Director of the Center For Whale Research), and Thad Lacinak (a former VP of Animal Training at SeaWorld) will also appear on the show.

Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!

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