Lawsuit: captive Miami orca violates Endangered Species Act

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 5:17 PM

MIAMI (AP) — A lawsuit filed by animal rights groups claims an orca held in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium attraction is a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Miami federal court by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups. It contends the orca Lolita should be taken to a sea pen under a plan that would more closely mimic her natural environment.

Lolita is the biggest attraction at Seaquarium. She was captured in 1970 off the Washington state coast from an orca pod listed as endangered. The lawsuit contends that makes Lolita endangered too and that the conditions of her captivity in a relatively small tank are illegal.

A Seaquarium statement said Monday that Lolita is healthy and removing her would be cruel and traumatic.