A Day in the Life of Lolita the Performing Orca
Featuring Dr Ingrid N. Visser
Documentary Short produced by Daniel Azarian for the Orca Network, featuring Dr Ingrid Visser.
In 1970, a four year old killer whale named Tokitae was brutally taken from her mother in the US waters of Washington State and brought to the Miami Seaquarium, where she was placed in a 35 foot wide tank and renamed “Lolita.” She has lived there ever since.
Forty-three years later world-renowned orca biologist Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, founder of the Orca Research Trust (New Zealand), visits Lolita for the first time. This short film, produced on behalf of the Washington-based Orca Network, documents Dr. Visser’s visit as well as her thoughts and scientific observations concerning Lolita's current living conditions.
Official Selections: 2014 International Wildlife Film Festival, 2014 San Francisco Int'l Ocean Film Festival, 2014 Green Screen Int'l Wildlife Film Festival - Germany, 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival (Honorable Mention), 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, 2014 Big Apple Film Festival
Pending Legal Action:
Lolita’s tank size, as well as other issues surrounding her care, are a clear violation of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The USDA, responsible for enforcing the AWA, refuses to acknowledge or hold the Seaquarium accountable for these violations. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Orca Network and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued the agency for renewing the Seaquarium's license not withstanding these apparent violations.
On March 18, 2014 a judge dismissed ALDF’s case challenging Miami Seaquarium’s Animal Welfare Act license to display captive orcas. (Basically stating the USDA has complete discretion to obey the AWA regulations or not, which renders the them meaningless.)
In June of 2014 ALDF filed a notice of appeal of the District Court decision that found the USDA did not violate the law when it renewed Miami Seaquarium’s AWA exhibitor license.