A small peaceful protest was held in Newport Beach today with the hope of bringing awareness to the public about the brutal capture of Lolita. Lolita, a four year old female Orca was forcefully taken from her natural environment forty seven years ago today. The protest started on the 4600 block of MacArthur blvd and Campus Dive and then continued down to the 4500 block where Palace Entertainment headquarters are located. Palace Entertainment is owned by Parques Reunidos who own Miami Sea Aquarium where Lolita has been held for forty seven years. Together, Lolita’s supporters wanted to peacefully hand deliver 7,919 hand written letters from around the world pleading to Palace Entertainment for the release of Lolita.
Lolita was captured at four years old in the Pacific Northwest along with several other orcas. Corky and Lolita are the last two remaining whales in captivity that are still alive today after their abduction in 1970. When Lolita was captured in 1970, she was separated from her pod and taken to Miami Sea Aquarium where she lived in isolation for 37 years. The first 10 years she shared a tank with her mate Hugo until he died from a self inflicted head injury after repeatidly smashing his head into the side of the small tank.
Peggy Oki, a legendary skateboarder who was part of the Dogtown and Z-Boys movement in the 1970’s is also an environmental activist and the sole creator of her campaign “16,425 days a slave” Peggy has worked tirelessly, and with very little donations for over two years now to bring awareness to Lolita’s tragic story and more importantly to get her released from captivity. Upon her release, Lolita would be sent to a sea sanctuary that has already been prepared for her arrival, and with time, she could possibly be released back into her natural environment to reunite with her mother and the remainder of her family. Matt Sorum, (a former drummer for the band Guns and Roses) came out to show his support for Lolita and Peggy’s campaign “16,425 Days a Slave”.
For more information, you can visit Peggys public Facebook and Instagram pages called “16,425 days a slave”. She can also be found on Twitter with the handle @_peggyoki.
Activists from around the world have continued to push for the release of hundreds of animals currently in captivity in hopes of releasing them back to their natural habitat.
One such activist is Terran Baylor, travels all over the world making documentaries about whats happening worldwide. Recently he traveled to South Korea to document the release of two dolphins who were illegally captured and held in captivity for 20 years. With the collaboration of activists, the aquarium where the dolphins were being held, and the mayor of Seoul South Korea, they were able to sway the government to release them back into the wild.