Lolita, an orca stolen from the Puget Sound, is a member of the Southern Resident L Pod, and is captive at the Miami Seaquarium. She lives in a tank the size of a hotel swimming pool. Very small for a 7,000-pound animal. That can travel up to 100 miles a day, diving up to 500 feet deep. Orcas are intelligent, social animals, staying their entire life in the same pod. Like humans, orcas need companionship of their own kind.
Lolita has lived alone for 30 years. Despite her extreme intelligence and need for family, Lolita has done the same monotonous routine day after day for 40 years. All alone.
Last week my family saw resident Orcas swimming free in the Puget Sound, Lolita's family. They breached, fished and played. It did not seem fair that I am able to see Lolita's family and she is not.
A plan is in place to bring Lolita home to a sea pen in Kanaka Bay, where she will be taught how to fish and be reintroduced to her family. The Puget Sound community needs to compel Miami Sequarium to release Lolita to her home waters and free all captive orcas to seapen homes.
Elsie Carson-Holt, age 12