Thanks to the 70 people who signed letters at Fernfest June 17, 2017! Over 8 years petitions and letters have been sent to
- Arthur Hertz, former CEO of Wometco Enterprises
- Andrew Hertz, Wometco Enterprises, General Manager of the Miami Seaquarium
- Palace Entertainment (the Hertzes sold to Palace in 2014)
- Parques Reunidos (HQ in Spain; owns Palace Entertainment)
- Arle Capital (London, England; owns Parques Reunidos)
Candace Calloway Whiting has the “who owns Lolita Tokitae” history here.
Find out more about Lolita Tokitae on the Orca Network site.
Lolita Tokitae’s mom Ocean Sun (L 25, born 1928) still swims by this city with Lolita Tokitae’s family.
This year we are again writing to Fernando Eiroa, who was moved up in the Parques Reunidos hierarchy and has moved from Newport Beach to Madrid last year.
If you missed us at Fernfest, here is this year’s letter for you to use. Each letter signed on the street or at a community event has been sent by snail mail, hoping for a better impact. (Yes, that’s expensive but how could I look Lolita Tokitae in the eye and say “Sorry, the stamp was too expensive”?)
This is the first year in 8 years we will not be on the street downtown today with letters and books and Orca Network info (and beer tickets!) giveaways in front of the Irish Times pub (shout out to them for never asking me to move along – 2 hours beside their patio asking passersby to sign letters, book giveaways, info distribution). Please print and sign and send your letter to the owners of this officially substandard orca zoo. It’s well past time to retire Lolita Tokitae to a sea pen here in the San Juans
‘The Whale Bowl’ is a short documentary made by film students from Greenwich University in London, UK to help raise awareness about the plight of Lolita, the orca currently held at Miami Seaquarium.
[Your address, physical address plus email as you expect a reply]
Fernando Eiroa, CEO
PARQUES REUNIDOS SERVICIOS CENTRALES S.A
Paseo de la Castellana, 216. 16th floor
28046 Madrid. Spain
Dear Mr. Eiroa and Palace Entertainment Officers and Board of Directors,
I am writing from the coast of Lolita’s home waters, from which she was taken as a baby August 8, 1970. As of August 8, 2017, she will have survived 47 years of captivity in the Miami Seaquarium.
I request your active participation in allowing Lolita to be retired before she dies in your tank, and that she be returned to a sea pen in her home waters where her mother, Ocean Sun (L25) of L pod of the Southern Residents, still swims, along with Lolita’s extended family. There is a science based plan for her return and care in the “Lolita” section of OrcaNetwork.org. There is no significant risk to Lolita in any stage of Orca Network’s proposal for Lolita’s retirement in her home. Remaining in captivity will result in continuing and intensifying mental and physical stresses and related health issues.
It is a miracle that Lolita is still alive. All of the other 40+ members of her community who were captured and removed for display in theme parks before 1973 died by 1987, and yet Lolita somehow maintains her courage and her patience. She has endured the tragic suicide of her one-time companion Hugo (an orca also from her home waters, likely a relative with whom she could communicate; his tragic story here from Ric O’Barry) who bashed his head into the tank walls more than 30 years ago, in his teen years. She has been without the company of another orca for most of her years of performing at the Miami Seaquarium, although orcas are noted for their lifelong social and family connections.
When the Miami-Dade County Commission approved the sale of the Miami Seaquarium to Palace Entertainment, Commissioner Xavier Suarez asked, “Is there something that can be contemplated [to help Lolita]?” Commissioner Barbara Jordan asked, “Is there a retirement program for whales?”
The captive orca industry has lost credibility and stature over the last years. Public opinion has shifted to condemn confining cetaceans for human amusement and entertainment.
Parques Reunidos / Palace Entertainment has an opportunity to be on the right side of history by replacing cruel orca captivity with CGI / virtual reality encounters technology as a truly educational alternative. This decision would bring tremendous positive publicity. This is your chance to create a huge following of highly favourable public attention by providing assistance to help Lolita return home at long last, or to continue to find yourselves the object of increasing international disapprobation.
Lolita is middle aged by orca standards of longevity. Their life spans are very similar to ours. She could have many years of family connection. Please offer her the respect she deserves by playing a positive role in her much deserved retirement.
There are millions of people worldwide who would give great acclaim to Parques Reunidos and Palace Entertainment for supporting her retirement. I am one of them.
I’ve included my return address. Please reply and let me know what you are going to do to help get Lolita Tokitae home to the Salish Sea.
[Your signature – please print your name as well.]
“Save Lolita” PSA: Underdog Entertainment.