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Free Lolita Update 94

Lolita Update #94
Capture commemoration August 8
August 2, 2008

Photo of Lolita by Dr. Terrell Newby, on the
day Lolita was removed from Penn Cove.

Orca Network invites you to our annual Penn Cove Orca Capture Commemoration in memory of the 45 Southern Resident orcas captured in Washington State, and the 13 orcas killed during the captures, and in honor of Lolita, the sole survivor.

Friday August 8th, 2008, 4:30 - 7:30 pm
Captain Whidbey Inn, Stone Gallery, 2072 Captain Whidbey Inn Rd,
Coupeville, Whidbey Island WA

Presentations & displays, silent auction, food and drink, waterside ceremony.
Purchase tickets by contacting: E-Mail or calling 1-866-ORCANET or at the door.
Orca Network is a 501c3 nonprofit and Washington State Charitable organization. Proceeds from this event support Orca Network Educational programs.

On the 38th anniversary of the Penn Cove Orca Capture, Orca Network holds its annual commemoration of all the Southern Resident orcas taken during the capture era, and honors Lolita, the only survivor, who lives alone at the Miami Seaquarium where she was delivered in 1970. Amazingly, Lolita remains in good health and is fully capable of safely returning to her home waters in Washington's inland sea to enjoy a long retirement in contact with her family of birth.

The Seaquarium management and the marine park industry in general have successfully saturated Florida with the unfounded notion that somehow Lolita could be harmed by moving her to a protected bay pen in the waters where she was born and raised. Even many well-meaning animal advocates are sadly misled by this decades-long publicity campaign by the park industry to discourage any case-by-case consideration of retiring captive orcas to their natural waters.

The resulting widespread misperception has probably turned away potential benefactors who might want to help fund our proposal to retire Lolita, and without sufficient funding to guarantee professional transport, veterinary care, food and companionship for Lolita, we can't begin negotiations with the Seaquarium.

The time seems right to begin those discussions, because the Seaquarium now features its new dolphin program as its headline attraction rather than Lolita's whale shows, and because the calculation has probably been made that if Lolita were to die in that undersized tank the publicity backlash would damage the park's image.

Please join us on August 8th to learn more about Lolita and her family, to share stories, memories, and feelings about the Penn Cove orca captures, and to raise awareness of Lolita's lonely existence, and the struggles of her family to survive.

The event takes place at the historic Captain Whidbey Inn, on the shores of Penn Cove at the site of the 1970 orca capture, near Coupeville, Whidbey Island. The evening will include special presentations and sharing of stories, displays, a waterside ceremony, silent auction, appetizers and beverages. Cost is $20/person, with proceeds going to Orca Network's Lolita Retirement Campaign, educational programs and projects.

Tickets may be purchased in advance from Orca Network via E-Mail or 360-678-3451, or at the door. Donations of auction items are welcome.

For more information, visit: Click here for the most recent upcoming trips - (Webmaster Note - Page has since been updated with new events)


Letter to supporters of Lolita's retirement

Responses or inquiries are welcome. Please contact Orca Network.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery, including 20 orcas at three Sea World parks, has been sold.

The new owner, InBev Brewery of Belgium, has stated they are not interested in the theme parks and plan to sell them off, including Sea World's 20 captive orcas. Despite much speculation in the media there don't seem to be any clues about how the Sea World parks will be sold, whether intact or in pieces, or to whom, except to say that the most logical buyers, Six Flags and other US theme park owners, do not have the capital to make such a purchase.

That leaves undetermined foreign investors to take control of Sea World. This comes at a time when theme park attendance is threatened by high gas prices and a shrinking economy, and when captive orcas continue to die much faster than they are being born. Ten years ago there were about 55 orcas in captivity worldwide. Today there are only 43, and counting down.

The time may be fast approaching when scientific protocols will need to be devised for retiring captive orcas, dolphins and other marine mammals to their natural habitats, if only to avoid expensive care and feeding at declining marine parks. It's past time to end the embargo on rational consideration of the historical record of cetacean releases, the innate capabilities of whales and dolphins, and the actual, realistic prospects for retiring and/or releasing them.

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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