The Miami Seaquarium is a 38 acre oceanarium located on the island of Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay, Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States and is located near downtown Miami. It is the longest operating oceanarium in the United States. In addition to the marine mammals, the Miami Seaquarium also houses various fish, sharks, sea turtles, birds, reptiles and manatees. The park offers eight different marine animal shows and presentations daily and employs over 225 full and part-time employees. It is the third largest contributor to Miami-Dade County’s revenue through land lease payments and taxes.
Lolita is the only orca housed at the Miami Seaquarium. Her former tank-mate Hugo died on March 4, 1980 after repeatedly smashing his head into the walls of the tank in what is described as an act of suicide. Lolita has been alone ever since. At over 40 years old (estimated birth, 1966 or 1967), Lolita measures over 20 feet in length and weighs approximately 7,000 pounds. She was captured in Penn Cove near Seattle, Washington, on August 8, 1970. She was then purchased for $6,000 by the Miami Seaquarium in Florida in September 1970. She had previously been named Tokitae, meaning “Beautiful Lady/Shining Waters,” by her veterinarian, Dr. Jesse White, upon capture. Trainers at the Miami Seaquarium later changed her name. She became the subject of the 2003 documentary, ‘Lolita: Slave to Entertainment’.
Read an Orca Project Fact Sheet about Lolita and the illegal conditions she lives in by clicking <Here> , about a recent visit to Miami Seaquarium by clicking <Here> , and how YOU can help by clicking <Here>.
You can learn more about Lolita and the efforts to have her retired to a sea pen by following these links:
Lolita: Slave to Entertainment (on the Web) A site dedicated to grassroots independent documentary “Lolita: Slave to Entertainment” about Miami’s biggest performer, Lolita the killer whale on display at the Miami Seaquarium.
Miami Seaprison (on the Web) A faux Miami Seaquarium website with lots of great information about this Miami, FL marine mammal park and orca Lolita.
Orca Network (Lolita) News, information and updates on Lolita and the plans for her retirement to a sea pen in the Salish Sea in the Pacific Northwest.
SaveLolita.com (on the Web) (FaceBook) (MySpace) The go-to source for News, Events and Information about Lolita (Tokitae), a 42 year old captive killer whale (orca) living at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida.
SaveLolita.org (on the Web) Archival footage, history and links to information about Lolita, the female orca living all alone at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida for 40+ years.
Miami Seaquarium posts from The Orca Project: