NEW: Federal crackdown on Seaquarium calls on PETA to rally on cruelty charges

For immediate release:
September 30, 2021

David Perlé 202-483-7382

Miami – PETA just discovered a damning new 17-page federal inspection report revealing a large number of animal welfare violations at the Miami Seaquarium, including that it repeatedly acted against vets’ instructions; housed incompatible animals together, resulting in injury and death to two bottlenose dolphins; and failed to provide the Lolita Killer Whale and several other animals with sufficient shade, leaving them in direct sunlight, which can cause painful eye damage. This is the first time the USDA has cited the facility for insufficient shade, even though PETA has raised the issue for years.

When: Friday October 1 at 12 p.m.

Or: Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, 1350 NW 12e Avenue, Miami

In response, PETA supporters will travel to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office tomorrow to demand that Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle investigate and charge the Seaquarium with cruelty, what PETA has been urging her to do since she submitted evidence in May. 2020 abusive conditions under which Lolita is being held.

According to the recently released June 8 report, the Seaquarium went against veterinarians’ instructions by repeatedly feeding low-quality, foul-smelling marine mammals to marine mammals; reduces food intake of Lolita; kept forcing her to perform tricks that probably hurt her jaw; and, despite the documented assault between Lolita and the two Pacific white-sided dolphins already held with her, planned to move two more Pacific white-sided dolphins to the same tank. The Seaquarium also admitted that it has no way of knowing which dolphins are housed together on any given day – so it has no way of predicting dolphin compatibility or aggression.

“The Miami Seaquarium ignored instructions from their own vets so they could feed Lolita bad fish and force her to perform tricks that likely caused her injury among other horrors,” PETA executive vice president said, Tracy Reiman. “PETA calls on state authorities to act now to protect Lolita and the other animals and finally hold the Seaquarium accountable for its culture of cruelty.”

The report also notes that visitors held cell phones, cameras and even small children over the metal barrier surrounding the tank containing Lolita, endangering her and visitors. Dangerously high levels of chlorine and parasites were measured in the swimming pools, and many tanks were in various states of disrepair. An underwater fence was simply tied together, and two dolphins broke into an adjacent tank and apparently attacked another dolphin, inflicting at least four broken ribs on it.

PETA – whose motto says, in part, that “animals are not ours for entertainment” – opposes speciesism, a worldview of human supremacy. For more information on PETA’s information gathering and investigative reporting, please visitPETA.orgor follow the group onTwitter,Facebook, WhereInstagram.

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