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Protesters Rally Outside Miami Seaquarium To Free Lolita

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KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) -- Dozens of protesters marched outside Miami Seaquarium on Saturday, urging the company to free Lolita the Orca.

The group holding the demonstration said the purpose of the demonstration is to inform park guests and the public about Lolita's situation.

Lolita was caught on August 8, 1970 in Penn Cove, Puget Sound in Seattle, WA. When she was about 4-years old. She was later sold to the Miami Seaquarium.

The 7,000 pound whale has spent more than 35 years alone in the smallest orca tank in North America.

Animal rights groups want Lolita moved to "a protected cove sea pen" where she can be transitioned to the ocean.

Miami Seaquarium officials issued a statement Saturday saying in part, "Lolita the killer whale is healthy and thriving in her home of 44 years where she shares her habitat with Pacific white-sided dolphins. There is no scientific evidence that the 49 year-old post-reproductive Lolita could survive if she were to be moved from her home at Miami Seaquarium to a sea pen or to the open waters of the Pacific Northwest. It would be reckless and cruel to treat her life as an experiment and jeopardize her health and safety in order to appease a fringe group." 

They went on to say, "Lolita will continue to be an ambassador for her species from her home at Miami Seaquarium."

The march is just one of ten other protests happening nationwide in New York, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, and Wisconsin.

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