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Lolita, the Orca who kept hoping

Friday 01 April 2016 - 15

At Miami Seaquarium, Lolita turns in circles. She doesn't know, but we are working to save her. For her perhaps: freedom. Soon.

The prison
Today, Lolita swims in a circular aquarium of 24 by 11 metres, and with a depth of 3 to 6 metres, surrounded by spectator benches under the Florida sun. When she turns upwards, her tail fin touches the ground, because her body is 6m long. Completely alone for 36 years now, she shares her tiny prison with a few Pacific white-sided dolphins.

The only Orca companion that she ever had was Hugo, caught two years earlier from the same L pod clan. Most likely a brother or a cousin. The couple never had children, even though the two captives were extremely affectionate with each other, sometimes publicly. Lolita and Hugo lived together for ten years in the "whale jar". Unable to cope with captivity, Hugo died from a brain haemorrhage by hitting his head repeatedly against the walls of the tank in the Spring of 1980. Lolita plunged into despair and there were concerns for her life. But the little orca kept going and today she is surviving the intolerable. Does she doubt what is planned for her? Is it hope that has kept her going far longer than a human would in her circumstances?

On the outside, everything has been prepared for her. A reliable rehabilitation plan has been established for Lolita by her longstanding friend, Howard Garrett, (founder of the Orca network), and a team of scientists. We just need a gesture from the company Aspro Ocio, who own her as well as the Antibes orcas, to open her prison doors to allow for an amazing occurrence in the close future. Imagine….

Lolita is in a bay close to the San Juan Islands, in the ocean off Washington State, having been transported by plane there. It has been a few weeks now since she rediscovered what she had never really forgotten: to catch her own fish, to dive, to voyage in the ocean. Her human friends take care of her but are becoming more and more discrete. One beautiful morning, we can hear a sequence of whistles coming from the ocean. The Southern Resident Orca Community is returning!
It's the L Pod, her natal clan. The wild orcas swim carefully along the net cutting the creek, trying first of all to understand. Who is this stranger? They interrogate her, she clumsily responds in their dialect. It has been such a long time since she has spoken to someone!
Suddenly, in the crowd of gathered orcas, a matriarch detaches herself and comes closer. She addresses the stranger, whistling her name, questioningly. Lolita starts and replies. They know each other! "Mother?..." Yes, it's Ocean Sun, her 80 year old mother who is looking straight at her. The net gently falls to the ground, whilst the two orcas lean on each other for the first time in 46 years! We don't know how orcas cry, but these two are surely crying in happiness. Now, all of the tribe wriggle, dive, hit the waves and welcome the unimaginable escapee from hell. Soon, their large fins will line up together, taking Lolita to the dark waters of Puget Sound. She was right to keep hoping…

But all of this is still a dream. Help us make it real.

Yvon Godefroid


Comment from cousteau

Lolita.....ce sont les aquariums et les seaquariums qu´il faudrait boycotter mais des milliers de parents imbéciles y emmènent chaque année leurs enfants ....pas de clients, pas de commerce..

Comment from mado

Oui on y croit, il faut que ça se passe comme ça elle a assez donné, cette exploitation a assez duré.

Comment from Sabrina

J'aime cette histoire... oui, la liberté pour Lolita!!!

Comment from Nine

de tout coeur pour Lolita et sa belle Liberté!!

Comment from solise

Libérez cette pauvre orque !

Comment from didine

Un grand merci de dénoncer toutes ces horreurs

Comment from Marie-Paule

Lolita/Tokitae, je suis ses malheurs depuis sa capture en 1970. J'avais 17 ans quand Lolita a été capturée, j'ai suivi l'affaire via des journaux, la télévision puis par le minitel et mon 1er pc en 1996. J'en ai signé des pétitions pour elle.
Mes larmes coulent... si ce rêve pouvait se réaliser.

Pour ce faire continuons de signer la pétition Help Free Lolita, the World's Loneliest Orca https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=4951&utm_source=PETA%2BMG%2BFacebook%2BAd&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Lolita%2BAlert%2BFB%2BAd

Comment from nadfrance

J'espère pour elle car les orques doivent vivre dans les océans, parcourir des km, se nourrir seuls, vivre en bande. Je souhaite de tout coeur qu'elle sera remise en liberté.

Comment from Neferkitty

Je pleure comme une madeleine à la lecture de cet article. Je croise les doigts si fort pour elle...

Comment from Lea

J'espère de tout mon coeur que tout ceci deviendra une magnifique réalité. ❤

Comment from mady

Je suis très heureuse pour cette orque qui avait tant souffert déjà. Il faut continuer à libérer tous ces merveilleux poissons qui sont exhibés dans de minuscules bassins. C'est odieux... C'est criminel...

Comment from Chris Flam

On pense à toi Lolita, tu as droit à la LIBERTE...

Comment from wickie

Je souhaite de tout coeur que les animaux vivant en captivité retrouvent tous un jour les joies d'être libres, de tout coeur avec vous dans votre combat.

Comment from Sab67

Tout être vivant quel qu'il soit a besoin d'être libre et d'évoluer dans son milieu naturel. Les enfermer est la chose la plus ignoble qui soit. ..que ce soit les animaux de cirque enfermés dans des cages ou les orques dans des bassins exigus ... privés de leur liberté, c'est les faire mourir à petit feu d'une lente et longue agonie et souffrance psychologique. .. tout "être humain" normalement constitué devrait être capable de comprendre ça. Boycottez les cirques, les parcs animaliers !!! Apprenez aux enfants qu'aimer et respecter les animaux, c'est en les laissant s'épanouir libres et heureux dans leur milieu naturel !

Comment from marieyoupie

je croise les doigts, du bonheur, c'est tout ce dont on a besoin, humains, animaux .... vivre et laisser vivre !

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