August Book Photo Challenge: Longest Book
This is Lolita. This is her life. This is her tank where she lives. She has two dolphins for tank mates. She has not seen another orca for THIRTY FOUR YEARS. This is a tragedy and crime. Yes, a crime, legally a tank housing a orca must be 48 feet wide in either direction with a straight line of travel across the middle. Lolita’s tank is only 35 feet wide from the front wall to the slide out (work island) barrier. It is 20 feet deep at the deepest point and a mere 12 feet deep around the edges. Lolita is twenty feet long. Law also clearly states cetaceans MUST have a tank mate of their own species. Lolita has none. The Miami Seaquarium (where Lolita lives) is in need of major repairs, and per the Marine Mammal Inventory Report, has a substantial death rate for their animals. Luckily you can do something for poor Lolita! Please write a letter to APHIS (firstname.lastname@example.org) requesting Lolita to be humanely freed from Miami Seaquarium. More information here: http://savelolita.org/action
So I’m from Miami, and her tank is egregiously small. PLUS she typically shares it with 3-4 porpoises who are about 6 feet long. It’s incredibly difficult to go see her (since I was old enough to realize how crappy the conditions were for her, I’ve refused to give my business there). The absolute worst part: she has been in the same tank 43 years. FOURTY THREE YEARS. Lolita is actually a wild caught orca (most orcas in captivity are now captive bred), which in a lot of cases has led to PTSD and psychological trauma for the whales. I don’t think freeing her into the wild is possible at this point, but giving her a larger tank or moving her to a different facility where she can actually move would just be fantastic.
Also just to clarify I totally get why zoos and aquariums are necessary. They are important breeding programs for endangered species, and most importantly bring people into contact with animals they would never otherwise see and are incredibly important platforms for education (on both biology and conservation. Putting a cute animal face on an issue is way better than just yelling at people to stop destroying a certain environment.) But animals should have large, comfortable enclosures and access to enrichment. Lolita has been stuck in this little tank for 43 years and if that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what will.
The books I took with me to college all set up and looking beautiful;)