Miami Seaquarium or Seaprison  
Lolita alone at the Miami Seaquarium

       


The Award Winning
Documentary
that an entire industry would rather you
not see.


Lolita: Slave To Entertainment
Watch the Trailer

 

Lolita: Slave To Entertainment
from the award winning documentary
In Miami Florida there lives a very special orca; one with a remarkable will to survive. She is a 37-year-old performer named Lolita. And she is Celebrating 35 lonely years in the whale puddle.
Lolita alone at the Miami Seaquarium

Lolita was taken from the wild over 3 decades ago to be trained and put on display. Today she is the remaining survivor of the Puget Sound round-ups.

Lolita and mother orca On August 8th, 1970, Lolita and her family were swimming peacefully off the coast of Washington State, in route to a ritual gathering of the orca nations. Every year the orca pods of the northwest make the long pilgrimage to Possession Sound for the celebration. 

But for Lolita the day took a tragic turn. She and 10 other family members would never make it to this or any other family reunion again.

As the pod of more than 100 whales moved through the inlet, legendary orca trainer Ted Griffin and his capture team quickly gave chase.

Speedboats roared out to greet the pod. An assault of explosives quickly ensued. Deafening bombs exploded around the family as boats and small aircraft attempted to herd the disoriented whales into Puget Sound's Penn Cove inlet.

Attempting to protect their young, mature whales instinctively split into two groups and sent decoys to distract hunters from the infants and adolescents. The decoys tried to lead the hunters on a wild chase away from the pod, but pursuers were relentless, hurling nets into the water, and trapping the panicked family in Penn Cove inlet

Orca capture The air was thick with the sound of screaming whales as they thrashed in the tangled nets. Piercing shrills were heard for miles according to local residents Lila Snover and Barbara Stevens.

"The sounds they made were we what we really noticed. What you really felt were the cries of both the small ones and the adult ones. I remember one day I stopped close to them with my children and they kept saying, 'Why are they crying? They're crying.' It just broke your heart, and you kept wanting them to let them go, quit harassing them." ~Lila Snover

"There was a group of people that even contemplated going out in small boats in the dark and try and cut the nets and set the orcas free but they were being guarded all day and all night by people on the boats with rifles. They would pretty much shoot anybody who showed up and tried to free them." ~Barbara Stevens

"It was terrible. It was just terrible. It was like a prison camp; it was awful. And I think everybody that remembers it will tell you that. It was just one of the most horrible things I've witnessed in my life. I became dedicated to orcas in general and Lolita in particular since that day." ~Lila Snover

Adolescents ranging in age 2 to 7 years (the perfect age for capture and training) were quickly separated from their mothers and prepared for extraction. While desperately trying to reach her child through the twisted nets, one mother drowned: one last glimpse of her infant being dragged away and she closed her blowhole and sank lifelessly into the murky water. Her body was later discovered by reporters.

John Crowe was just 18 when he was hired to aid in the capture, and he remembers it very well.

"Corals were set up with net going down on all sides. Then you have to figure out a way to separate the animals because you only want the little ones. Then when you see that there are some little ones on one side, more on one side than the other, then you take off with another boat and run a net and separate those. Also you leave a circular net out to keep some whales in it because as long as there is one whale in captivity the rest of them won't leave. Isn't that interesting?" ~John Crowe

Four youngsters also died in the assault. While charging the nets in final attempts to reach their mothers they drowned. But their deaths were kept from public eye. Orca capture

In a covert midnight mission, the bodies were weighted and hauled out to sea for secret disposa

Dead Orcas "They had us slit them open and fill them with rocks and put anchors on their tails and we sank them." ~John Crowe

Their bodies mysteriously washed up on shore on Nov. 18, 1970 making national headlines and inciting public outrage. The outrage later inspired Washington State government to ban Orca captures in Puget Sound for good

Surviving youths were lashed, hoisted onto boats, and dragged to shore never to see their family again. A family unit as old as time was suddenly crippled forever.
Lolita being captured

"My job along with another guy was to get her in the stretcher and that was the bad part because that was our last whale. So as soon as we left with her they started breaking down the rest of the outfit and they released them then. But they didn't leave. They came right over to the beach. And they just kind of milled about there.
And they were communicating back and forth with the squeaks and shrieks that they do, and they call it spy-hopping now when a whale sticks his head up. They were doing that.

I kind of broke down and started crying. I kept working but it was really too much for me to deal with at that point. So we kept going on anyway and got the whale loaded and they picked it up. And the instant that whale cleared the water where the sound, I suppose didn't transmit any more, the whole rest of the pod of hales that were there Just gave a big sigh and swam off. And that was the end of that." ~John Crowe

During the commotion at Penn Cove, the call went out to aquariums around the world proclaiming there were whales for sale in Puget Sound. It was the largest whale capture in history.
Baby Lolita sold to Seaquarium

Seven youngsters were caught in all; two went to Japan, one each to Texas, Australia, The UK, and France, and one 6-year-old female to Miami.

Miami Florida: the chic, glamour, and fashion capital of the southeast, the town that boasts a multi-billion-dollar tourism industry, adopted a brand new attraction on September 14, 1970

Lolita domination at Miami Seaquarium 3000 miles from home, the young female was unloaded and moved into her new permanent residence at the Miami Seaquarium. She was purchased for a mere $6000 to become the second captive killer whale on display on the east coast. Given a brand new identity, she became known as - Lolita, the Killer whale.

At the Seaquarium, Lolita was temporarily reunited with Hugo who was captured from the very same family just 2 years earlier. But he died of mysterious causes in 1980, leaving her alone. Now Lolita is the remaining survivor of the 58 whales kidnapped over the years from Puget Sound.
 

3 decades later, she is still the star attraction of the Seaquarium, living and performing in a substandard tank not much larger than a hotel swimming pool.

The Award Winning Documentary
Learn the truth about the Miami Seaquarium and the multi-billion-dollar captivity industry.


Six young orcas are ripped away from their family, sold to marine parks, and shipped across the world to enter into a life of slavery. Three decades later only one survives. And she just so happens to be Miamiís biggest performer.


This controversial independent documentary takes a disturbing look into the dark secrets of the multi-billion dollar aquarium industry and questions human ethics in relationship to animals in entertainment. It is the tragic and compelling life story of Lolita, a Killer Whale on display in Miami Florida, documenting her 37 year existence. But there is another story here as well.

Watch the trailer or order the video>>>>>>>>>

Lolita: Slave To Entertainment

Sea lion at Miami Seaquarium
 

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