If you follow ANY news, you would have read that Lolita the Orca died on Friday, August 18, 2023.
So, for the next week or so, Lolita will be making headlines – a lot.
The awful, sad thing is that Lolita SHOULD have been making headlines every day regarding her inapproporiate confinement in complete isolation where her man-made environment made it impossible for her to be completely healthy, thrive, and well, live her best life.
Captured in 1970, Lolita was taken to the Miami Seaquarium, where she spent her life in confinement, first as a performing Orca, and then, in COMPLETE isolation, in a small pool area out of the public eye.
The news articles define Lolita as “beloved”, “an inspiration”, “iconic”.
But these descriptions are not true as to how Lolita was treated.
Allowing Lolita to remain in that barren, hidden pool area in complete isolation is cruel. And it goes beyond cruel.
Lolita was estimated to be between 50 and 57 years of age at the time of her passing. Orca’s can live up to 60 – 90 years. Orca’s are deemed as highly social, and live in the wild with their family groups (known as pods).
Image living almost your entire life without your family. And towards the end of your life, your last years being forcefully kept in complete isolation to languish in a poor environment where each day is the same. Imagine.
Lolita lived a very unnecessary sad, lonely life ALL because of human impact.
Miami Seaquarium could have done better by Lolita. But dragged their feet.
Shame on them.
Shame on any entity who feels that forced confinement for ANY type of animal exploitation is acceptable.
It doesn’t matter now that so many people were trying to advocate for her release. It doesn’t matter now that Lolita was only five months shy of a plan to have her released.
What matters is the life Lolita lived, the years wasted, and how she died.
It didn’t have to be that way for her.
Humans do good things for sentient beings all the time. But they also do awful things just because they can.
I never patron places where animals are exploited for human entertainment. Not everyone thinks or feels this way.
But imagine, if everyone did.
Then there wouldn’t be a need for any more situations like the one Lolita was put in.