Save Lolita | Raising Awareness for Lolita the Orca

Lolita’s tank size, as well as other issues surrounding her care, are a clear violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) an arm of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is the government agency that is responsible for implementing the Animal Welfare Act.   APHIS has been contacted about Lolita’s condition, and they continue to respond that her tank and the Miami Seaquarium are not in violation of the AWA.  Please see the breakdown below for the violations.

1.  Lolita’s Tank Size (Space requirements for Orca) Lolita’s tank is an oval, with the dimensions of 35 feet by 80 feet.  APHIS claims their measurements of the tank show it to be 60 feet by 80 feet.  This is clearly incorrect.  (Please note this does NOT include a small medical pool, behind a concrete barrier in the center of the tank.  APHIS, by there own admission, does not include the medical tank in their measurements)

You may go to Google Maps or Google Earth and enter the Seaquarium’s address (4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL, 33149) to view an aerial view of Lolita’s tank and measure it.  You will see it is clearly 35 feet x 80 feet.
Per AWA guidelines, the tank’s 35 foot measurement is not large enough.

2.  Perimeter Fence & Protection from Abuse and Harassment Lolita’s pool does not meet AWA requirements to keep animals and unauthorized people out nor does it provide protection from abuse and harassment by the viewing public.

3.  Protection from Weather and Direct Sunlight Lolita is not afforded protection from the weather or from direct sunlight as is required by the AWA.

4.  Housing with Compatible Animals Lolita has not been in the company of another orca since 1980. This highly social animal lives in relative solitude as the AWA is interpreted to accept her dolphin tank-mates as an adequate replacement for a member of her own species.

5.  Pool Environment Enhancements Non-food objects are utilized in Lolita’s pool for stimulation which may subject her to injury through ingestion; another AWA violation.

6.  Emergency Contingency Plans The well being of Lolita and the other marine mammals are at the mercy of the toxic remnants of the Gulf oil spill, sewage contamination in Biscayne Bay and hurricane threats. APHIS has neglected to enforce AWA Emergency Contingency Plan requirements.



Contact APHIS:
We suggest contacting APHIS with the six Animal Welfare Act violations listed above.
Janet L. Bucknall, Eastern Regional Director
USDA – APHIS Animal Care
920 Main Campus Drive-Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606
(919) 855-7200 – Office
(919) 855-7215 – Fax


Kevin Shea

Administrator Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services

4700 River Road
Riverdale, MD 20737
Monday-Friday – 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

Contact the Secretary of Agriculture:
You may also email Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, with the same concerns:


Contact the Office of the Inspector Genteral:

The Office of the Inspector General has a “Hotline” for reporting violations related to USDA programs such as; fraud, employee misconduct, mismanagement, conflict of interest, etc. The hotline tips can be submitted online, by email, by phone, by mail. Click on this link to the OIG’s hotline and report APHIS’s inaction:


Contact your senator or government representatives:
We also suggest contacting your senator or government representatives.


Contact the new owners of the seaquarium:
In addition, you can contact the new owners of the Seaquarium and let you voice be heard

The primary office to write is:

Fernando Eiroa, CEO
Parques Reunidos Group
Casa de Campo, s/n
Madrid, Madrid 28011

Palace Entertainment is the US operating subsidiary of Parques Reunidos, a European based company owned by the private equity fund Candover, which is managed by London-based Arle Capital. You may also choose to contact Arle Capital’s chairman, Sir George Buckley. We ask that you please be polite and respectful in your plea concerning Lolita:


Sir George Buckley

Arle Capital Partners Limited

12 Charles II Street


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7979 0000