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Free Lolita Update 95

Lolita Update #95
Protest at Seaquarium Aug. 8
August 6, 2008

Mother's Day 1998 demonstration for Lolita.

Orca Network and Shelby Proie are holding a Demonstration and Protest for Lolita at the Miami Seaquarium Friday, August 8, 2008 to tell the Seaquarium owners and the world that Lolita must be allowed to return home.

Join the protest from 12 noon to 1 pm
Along Rickenbacker Causeway
in front of the Seaquarium
Virginia Key, Florida
Bring your enthusiasm.

The time has definitely come for Lolita to be home again. Please contact Shelby Proie at 412-983-0994 or by email at to let her know you'll be coming to the demonstration. Shelby is a very well informed and dedicated Environmental Science and Psychology major at Nova Southeastern University.

The most important point for all to understand is that there is no risk, short-term or long-term, at any phase of our proposal to retire Lolita in her native habitat and be allowed to communicate with her family. Decades of simplistic messaging by the Seaquarium and the entire marine park industry have pounded out the unsupported belief that somehow, somewhere Lolita might not survive a professional, phased retirement in the waters she was born and raised in.

Kenneth Balcomb, scientific director of the Center for Whale Research, conducting the most intensive and longest-term study of orcas worldwide after 32 years of continuous research on the Southern Resident orcas (Lolita's extended family) says:
"Lolita came from Puget Sound, so it is ridiculous for anyone to postulate that she cannot survive in these waters. Eighty-seven of her closest relatives still live in these waters. Whales and dolphins have been shipped around the world as a matter of routine...Lolita has earned a fortune for her captors and owners, and has reached a time in her life when she is at greater risk of her facility crumbling around her, than she would be in a seapen in the San Juan Islands. Her kind has been trained to do open water exercise and missions, and she no doubt can do likewise here in her homewaters. Lolita can have the same or better quality of food and care that she now receives. I think it is unconscionable that an animal that in nature swims 75 miles per day within a range of hundreds to thousands of miles should be subjected to a lifetime of floating in a bathtub-size pool. It is directly analogous to locking a child in a closet for its lifetime."
On Whidbey Island, Washington, where Lolita was captured and where her family is seen on a daily basis, Orca Network will hold 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.

Please join us in Miami or in Washington 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.

The Washington 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:


Letter to supporters of Lolita's retirement

Responses or inquiries are welcome. Please contact Orca Network.

Prospects narrow down to two options for purchase of Sea World

It's all still just rumor, but media sources have mentioned two possible buyers for Sea World and its 20 captive orcas. There are problems with both scenarios, but on Monday the UK Telegraph reported Blackstone/Merlin Corp. may buy Busch Entertainment.

However, there are multiple contractual problems, along with complex financial issues, to overcome before this option is possible.

The other possibility mentioned in some blogs would be for members of the Busch family to buy Busch Entertainment Corporation back from InBev, which purchased the entire corporate empire in July. There are too many pros and cons of this option to review here, but suffice it to say the deliberations must be intense.

We'll try to keep you all up to date.

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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