A courtroom packed with those wanting to speak for the voiceless and free the helpless. Lolita, the orca kept in a tiny tank for more than 4 decades, has been called America’s longest held hostage. PETA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund argue that the U.S. government operates in collusion with the Seaquarium. The animal organizations note the USDA routinely renews their license even though Lolita is kept in inhumane conditions. Click here for a timeline of the case. The latest from JaneUnChained Miami video correspondent Kat Pflieger.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund told the 3-judge appeals panel that Lolita was being held “without shelter from the hot Miami sun and without the company of another orca.” Lolita was taken by force from the waters of the Pacific Northwest, ripped from her mother and her pod. The goal is to return her, first to a protected cove/sanctuary, and then, ultimately and gradually, to her pod which still roams those waters. Lolita was just added to the federal endangered species list. Her pod, in the wild, was added years ago.