A Drone's-Eye View of the Smallest, Saddest Orca Tank in the US

By Ashley Feinberg on at

You're probably familiar with the many injustices going down at SeaWorld, including the park's (weak) attempts at trying to make them right. But now, new drone footage is here to remind you that there are other parks tormenting orcas in equally horrible–if not even sadder—ways. Say hello to Miami Seaquarium's Lolita, a whale who lives in the smallest, saddest orca tank in the USA.

Recorded by Paul James for Drones for Animal Defense, the footage shows what is essentially Lolita's 35-foot-wide prison—only 15 feet longer than the 7,000-pound animal herself. What's more, that's a whole 13 feet smaller than is legally required by the US's Animal Welfare Act. And it gets worse.

As The Dodo explains, after being captured in 1970, Lolita's only companion was Hugo, an orca captured two years prior who was prone to shrieking and slamming his head against the tank wall.Then, one day in 1980, Hugo slammed his slammed his head against the glass just a little too hard, and Lolita has been alone in her tank ever since. You can get a glimpse of her lonely life in the short documentary below.

Currently, animal rights activists are working to get Lolita moved to a sea pen sanctuary, which would grant her vastly more space than she's had in over 40 years. Hopefully, this heartbreaking new footage-by-drone can drum up enough awareness to get Lolita some of the help she needs. [The Dodo]