Friday, February 26, 2010

Miami Seaquarium embarrasses itself

In what has to be one of the most disgusting and callous acts of self-promotion in its long history of disgusting and callous self-promotion, the Miami Seaquarium Thursday capitalized on the death of the Orlando killer whale trainer by cranking out a press release inviting the South Florida media to do a puff piece on the Seaquarium's killer whale, Lolita, which the whale's trainer insists is a happy camper.




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.
Robert Rose, Lolita's main trainer also said the size of the tank is not an issue.

"Lolita's happy," he said.
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."

Time will tell who's right.


    this is a website that focuses on our efforts to get Lolita out of the most dilapidated marine park in North American and back into a bay pen where she was caught in the San Juan Islands so she may one day be able to rejoin her pod which includes her 85 year old mother.

  2. I just took my family to the seaquarium this weekend and was horrified. I made them all promise that we will never go there, or any other park that houses animals that make them perform for food ever again. I guess I didn't want to know the facts previously, because the kids love it so much, but it's time they started forming a social conscience. I'm going to return my ticket stubs, all the souveniers, and the pictures to the park and tell them I don't want any reminders of my time spent there. The manatees in their tiny tank are the saddest thing I've ever seen.


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