- Text by Sam Warner
Animal welfare activists have won a huge victory and dealt a major blow to SeaWorld as the California Coastal Commission has barred the theme park attraction from breeding whales in captivity. However, another bill introduced in California that would make it illegal to keep orcas in captivity, called the Orca Welfare and Safety bill, has been delayed.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging news for former Z-Boys rider and whale activist Peggy Oki who has launched a new campaign to free orca Lolita in Miami. Oki has devoted much of her career to protecting whales and heads up the Origami Whales Project. The group has released a new video describing the story of Lolita, the only orca at Miami Seaquarium, to mark 45 years since her capture.
The 16,425 Days A Slave! campaign has been created by Oki and the video features her inhabiting the role of Lolita, using prompt cards to describe how Lolita was separated from her family in the Penn Cove massacre of 1970.
Peggy’s campaign aims to collect 16,425 letters from the public, one to mark each day in the 45 years since Lolita’s capture up to August 8th, to be sent to the owners of Miami Seaquarium. The ultimate aim is for Lolita to be released back into the ocean, which she hasn’t seen since 1970, and be reunited with her 86-year-old mother, Ocean Sun.
Head over to Origami Whale Project to find out more.