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Lolita's Fate Unclear As Decision Looms Over Captive Orcas

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SEATTLE (CBSMiami/AP)-- The fate of the killer whale known as Lolita looms as a decision from the federal government is expected soon.

For years, animal activists have campaigned to free Lolita who was captured from Puget Sound waters in 1970 and has been performing at Miami Seaquarium in Florida for over four decades.

READ: Animal Advocates, Locals March For Lolita's Release

They say the orca belongs to a small population of endangered killer whales and should receive the same federal protection as those wild killer whales.

A decision from the federal government is expected as early as next week.

The curator of the Miami Seaquarium, Robert Rose, said regardless of what happens Lolita isn't going anywhere. He said she is healthy, vibrant and has been well-cared for.

READ: PETA Challenging Feds Over Miami Seaquarium's Lolita

Activists say she belongs in the wild and returning her to her home waters will give her a chance to bond with others orcas that spend time in Washington state waters.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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