During an impassioned speech at the Miracle March for Lolita, the largest protest in history for a captive whale, Jane Velez-Mitchell of JaneUnchained.com called the Miami Seaquarium a “crime scene” to the thunderous applause of over a thousand people from around the world who descended upon Key Biscayne, Florida, to demand her freedom.
In an effort to discredit the March participants and continue making millions off Lolita’s back, Seaquarium spokesperson Robert Rose misled reporters, stating unequivocally that Lolita will die if released from her tank into the ocean. He made no mention of the fact that she would first be rehabilitated in a coastal sanctuary near her pod and would only be released if she is deemed capable of surviving. The seaside pen would provide her with space to swim, dive and be near or with other orcas, all of which have been denied to her for the past 44 years. It would also bring an end to her exploitation — being held captive and forced to perform tricks in exchange for food.
Among the many highlights of the Miracle March for Lolita was a ceremony during supermodel Joanna Krupa symbolically released Lolita from a tank created by a human chain.
Events around the world were held in solidarity.
Orca conservation and animal rights groups will continue to fight for Lolita’s release. Jared Goodman, PETA’s Director of Animal Law, says that, by the end of January, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will decide whether or not to designate Lolita a member of an endangered group of whales. That decision could determine her fate.
The miracle March for Lolita was the brainchild of Robin Jewell, an activist from Michigan with a hole in her heart and a vision for Lolita. On a shoe string budget, Ms Jewell produced the entire event — securing the permits, managing promotion and publicity, liaising with law enforcement, recruiting speakers for the rally and coordinating the parade route, food and entertainment. The flawless execution of the event was one of many miracles of the Miracle March for Lolita.
Please sign Robin Jewell’s Change.org petition to free Lolita and ensure talk to your friends about why they should boycott aquariums, zoos, circuses and other forms of entertainment where animals are held captive.