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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 torn away from her family and natural habitat in Washington's Puget Sound decades ago. Half a century later, she is the last surviving orca of the more than 30 who were captured off the coast of Washington and is 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.
Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo are trapped at Marineland Antibes, where they swim in repetitive patterns, vomit, chew on metal cage bars until they irreparably damage their teeth, and bang their heads against concrete walls. At least 12 orcas have died at the park, including two in 2015, when 19-year-old Valentin 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 to a seaside sanctuary, where they could feel waves, hear wild pods, and finally have some semblance of a natural life.