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Despite a damning inspection report that documented a slew of animal welfare violations at the Miami Seaquarium, the notorious facility continues to violate federal law, and animals like the lone orca Lolita continue to suffer miserably. PETA has urged Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle to investigate and pursue appropriate charges against this hideous abusement park for cruelty, but after over two years of delays, her office has taken no meaningful action.
The 2021 U.S. Department of Agriculture report found that, among other issues, the Miami Seaquarium held incompatible dolphins together who ended up dying from trauma, fed animals rotten fish, and forced Lolita to continue performing tricks that likely injured her jaw. Now, a July 2022 federal inspection report (released in October) shows that dolphins at the facility were starved until their bones were visible, the emaciated animals were forced to perform more frequently, and they attacked trainers and the public due to the stress of food deprivation and intensive confinement.
Meanwhile, Lolita continues to languish in the smallest orca tank in the world, where she’s denied the opportunity to engage in behavior that’s natural and meaningful to an orca, like diving, swimming any substantial distance, and forming social relationships with members of her own species. Marine-mammal experts can attest to the fact that the complete deprivation of all that’s natural and important to these animals, in addition to depriving them of necessary sustenance and veterinary care, causes them extreme and unnecessary stress, torment, injury, and suffering, an apparent violation of Florida’s cruelty-to-animals law and a form of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview.
Please join PETA in urging Rundle to investigate and pursue appropriate charges against the Miami Seaquarium now—no more delays or Lolita and the other dolphins could die in the same tanks, under the same conditions, having been deprived of any semblance of a meaningful life.