Miami Seaquarium opened its doors Sunday, as animal rights activists and supporters gathered outside.
“Lolita was contained in a bath tub pool for her entire life, “ screamed a protestor.
As people drove passed the gates of the Seaquarium, another activist said, “you have a chance to turn around now. Don’t pay for enslavement.”
They voiced their concerns for how Lolita was treated. The beloved orca died just days ago.
“It’s 2023, we have a choice to not support animal cruelty. This is disgraceful,” said Stephanie Lane.
“It’s sad how she passed away. We were all expecting her release. All of us who really cared about her,” another protester added.
There were plans to relocate Lolita to her native waters, but activists said it never came.
“It’s truly sad, indeed. What is really sad is everyone who could have stepped in since 1974 when the Endangered Species Act was signed,” a protester told NBC6. “That is when someone should have stepped up and said we need to get this animal back into the wild when she was still young and healthy. Now, it’s a little too late.”
Saturday night, Friends of Toki Executive Director Charles Vinick told NBC 6 that he was with the orca on her final days.
“She had the will to live,” said Vinick.
Miami Seaquarium believes a Renal condition may have caused her death.