10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Lolita
Click on the “plus” signs to read more about each fact.
1. Lolita is a Southern Resident Killer Whale captured on Aug. 8, 1970 in Penn Cove, WA.
She remains the only survivor of almost 50 Southern Resident whales captured for marine parks before 1974.
2. Lolita is an L Pod orca, one of three clans that make up the Southern Residents.
The other two pods are J Pod and K Pod. Combined, they number only 79 whales.
3.Lolita has been housed at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida for 47 years.
She has performed three times a day for 47 years. Over 48,000 performances during her lifetime.
4. Lolita has not seen another orca in 34 years.
Her companion Hugo died in 1980, after repeatedly smashing his head into the walls of the tank.
5.Lolita's presumed mother is Ocean Sun (L25). In her 80s, she still swims free.
Ocean Sun never had another calf. When Lolita was captured, a matriline ended.
6.Lolita's family was awarded Endangered Species Act protection in 2005, with Lolita finally sharing this status ten years later.
Initially, the government excluded any orca and their offspring who were in captivity prior to the listing. After an appeal, Lolita was included in this status in 2015.
7.Lolita has been in the same tank for 47 years.
Miami Seaquarium has been promising to build Lolita a new tank since 1978. Advocates argue her tank is illegally-sized under the Animal Welfare Act.
8.Officials partly blame the orca captures for the Southern Resident whales' decline.
National Marine Fisheries Service: “Part of the reason why the SRKW population size is small is that … it
was targeted for live capture removals.”
9. Experts believe that Lolita still remembers her family.
Orca Network “After listening to calls of her family member in 1996 by Dateline NBC, Lolita appeared to recognize them.”
10.The Lolita Retirement Plan would return her home, to the Pacific NW.
Scientific and marine mammal experts would rehabilitate Lolita for her return to the wild and her family.
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