An agreement to return Lolita to her home after 50 years in captivity was reached between the Miami Seaquarium, the non-profit organisation Friends of Lolita and Jim Irsay, Owner of the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts.
Lolita is the oldest orca currently in captivity. She was bought by the Seaquarium in 1970 for only $6,000 and has been there ever since.
A report released by the US Department of Agriculture in November 2021 identified several issues with the conditions Lolita and the other animals were kept in at the aquarium, including being fed rotting fish, poor water quality, and “critical” pool issues.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2021, whale researcher and activist Howard Garret, who has advocated for Lolita’s release for several decades, said that it was “against all odds she’s still alive…”
Plans are now in place for Lolita’s reintegration into the wild, where it is believed her mother is still alive. Reintegration may take 2 years and cost $20 million, as Lolita is kept under constant surveillance and will have to be taught how to hunt again.
On Thursday, ‘The Dolphin Company’, which owns Miami Seaquarium issued a statement to their Twitter account where they announced that…