Freeing Lolita, Miami Seaquarium's orca that has been living in the smallest tank in North America for more than four decades, is a cause of many animal-rights organizations both local and national, including PETA. And if there is one thing for which PETA is particularly known, it's rounding up celebrities and other boldfaced names to lend support to the cause.
Today PETA announced that a bevy of Miami celebrities and local city leaders, including DJ Irie, Daisy Fuentes, Louis Aguirre, and developer Jorge Pérez have come out in support of freeing Lolita. The announcement is set to coincide with the 45th anniversary of Lolita's capture.
Here are some of the statements.
DJ Irie, Miami Heat DJ:
"Two of Miami's biggest attractions are its entertainment industry and natural beauty. The value in entertainment is novelty, while freedom is nature's currency. Let's repay Lolita and retire her today!"
Daisy Fuentes, model, television host, and former MTV VJ:
"Lolita has spent 45 years alone in a tiny barren concrete tank. We are all aware of the tragic sadness and harm inflicted upon these majestic, highly intelligent, endangered creatures in captivity. We now know it's not entertainment. It's just wrong. With knowledge comes responsibility. The time has come to do what's right. We must help return Lolita to her native habitat. Her protected sea pen is ready. Miami, a city so dear to my heart, now has the opportunity to set a powerful example for the rest of the world. I urge everyone to please support this extremely overdue effort. Lolita's future depends on the conscience of mankind. Let's do what's right.”
Louis Aguirre, former Deco Drive host and current host of The Insider:
"She was violently kidnapped from her mother while she was still only a baby and has spent 45 years in captivity, living in one of the smallest whale enclosures in the world, without contact with another orca for 35 of those years. It's time to have some compassion and do what's right. She deserves to be free for the rest of her life, as nature intended. I pray that sanity and reason prevail here."
Jorge Pérez, developer, the Related Group:
"Miami is one of the most progressive cities in the world. Holding orcas captive for show is no longer acceptable. It is completely necessary that we, as an international city, support the release of Lolita from her 45 years of captivity at the Miami Seaquarium."
Alan Potamkin, cochairman of Potamkin Automotive Group Inc.
“We believe it is a disgrace that this orca has been held in captivity for so many years. She has served the public long enough and deserves to have her final years able to move in open waters.”
Ingrid Hoffmann, celebrity chef
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"It is a shock that Miami, being such a progressive and international city, allows endangered species to continue being used as circus acts. Let’s act as responsible, educated, compassionate human beings, living in the 21st Century in the most powerful nation on earth. Let’s lead by example and help Lolita."
Courtland Lantaff, publisher of Ocean Drive magazine; Sergio Rok, president or Rok Enterprises; and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine also lent their support.
A spokesperson from Miami Seaquarium hasn't responded to New Times' request for comment about the new campaign. We'll update this post when we hear back.