Killer whale Lolita has been wowing crowds at Miami Seaquarium for over 40 years. But now the ‘Blackfish effect’ has a growing protest movement calling for her freedom. Have aquarium shows had their day?
Every week thousands come to Miami Seaquarium for a spectacular show; one that orca Lolita has repeated 3 times a day for 43 years. “It tells you nothing about Orcas in the wild. It’s a circus”, says one leader of the protest movement campaigning for her release. Blackfish, a controversial documentary about orcas in SeaWorld, has inspired a new awareness of the plight of “the most social animal on the planet”. Director Gabriela Coperthwaite explains, “SeaWorld has for decades been running unchecked”. As experts argue Lolita’s “cement prison” has driven her “psychotic”, the safety and ethics of such aquarium shows are finally coming under question.