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Despite overwhelming evidence that orcas suffer immensely in captivity, the Miami Seaquarium in Florida and Marineland Antibes in France continue to confine these social, intelligent, and sensitive animals to small concrete tanks. Holding animals captive for our amusement is a form of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview—and it must end.
Lolita was violently torn away from her family in Washington's Puget Sound decades ago. Half a century later, she's the last surviving orca of the more than 30 who were captured off the coast of Washington and she's still imprisoned at the Miami Seaquarium—in the smallest, oldest orca tank in the world—while the rest of her pod, including an orca believed to be her mother, swims freely. Lolita hasn't had any contact with another orca since 1980, when her tankmate, Hugo, died after repeatedly ramming his head into a wall.
In September 2020, France made a historic announcement that it's banning marine parks—including Marineland Antibes—from breeding or acquiring new orcas and other dolphins, and it intends to transition Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo to seaside sanctuaries within the next two years. At least 12 orcas have died at Marineland Antibes, including 19-year-old Valentin, who was killed during severe flooding just four months after his mother, Freya, died.
Please urge Parques Reunidos—the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium and Marineland Antibes—to retire the orcas at both parks to seaside sanctuaries, where they could feel waves, hear wild pods, and finally have some semblance of a natural life.