According to the Miami Herald's Curtis Morgan:
In response to media inquiries, Miami Seaquarium management invited reporters to watch Lolita delight crowds of oohing, ahhing tourists, and to defend the treatment of its performers and safety of marine mammal shows.Morgan balanced his piece by including quotes from animal activists who believe keeping large animals like Lolita in captivity is tantamount to animal cruelty.
[Russ] Rector, who has long campaigned to shut down the Seaquarium, spent years trying to force the attraction to expand Lolita's tank but federal officials rebuffed his effort. He also alerted Miami-Dade County code enforcers to electrical and other code violations at the aging facility. The Seaquarium eventually spent $4 million on renovations.Lolita, writes Morgan, has lived in a tank for 40 years.
NBC Miami went a step further and reported in its online story:
Lolita lives in a tank about one-tenth the size of those at SeaWorld and has no interaction with other killer whales. She swims in the smallest killer whale tank in North America.But activist Rector disagrees according to the Herald's story: "Lolita is coming to the end of her captive life span," he said. "She is going to hurt or kill somebody if they're not careful."
Robert Rose, Lolita's main trainer also said the size of the tank is not an issue.
"Lolita's happy," he said.
Time will tell who's right.