Despite overwhelming evidence that orcas suffer in captivity and that the tide of public opinion has turned against marine-mammal confinement, Parques Reunidos, the parent company of the Miami Seaquarium and Marineland Antibes in France, continues to confine intelligent, sensitive orcas to cramped concrete tanks.
Lolita was torn away from her family and natural habitat in Puget Sound decades ago, along with dozens of other orcas who were later sold to marine parks.
Nearly half a century later, she's the last surviving orca of the 45 who were captured there, and she's still imprisoned by the Miami Seaquarium. She has been alone since 1980, when her tank mate, Hugo, died after repeatedly ramming his head into a wall.
Across the ocean, four orcas – named Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo – are trapped at Marineland Antibes in France, where at least 12 orcas have died, including two in 2015. Four months after his mother, Freya, died, a 19-year-old orca named Valentin was killed during severe flooding, along with many other animals.
The parks are a showcase of neglect and abuse: orcas swim in repetitive patterns, vomit, chew on metal cage bars until they irreparably damage their teeth, and bang their heads against concrete walls.
Please help free Lolita, Wikie, Inouk, Moana, and Keijo – urge Parques Reunidos to retire them to a seaside sanctuary, where they could feel the ocean's waves, hear the calls of wild orca pods, and finally have some semblance of a natural life.