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The Plight of Lolita
on August 9, 2009
Slave to Entertainment is a documentary about the marine mammal industry. Most notably, Lolita, an orca who languishes in a tank that is too small for her at the Miami Seaquarium.
Lolita was captured 39 years ago on August 8, 1970. Not only was she captured that day, five others orcas were also captured and five were killed. Four of those killed were babies who were trying desperately to get back to their mothers. They repeatedly pushed up against the net, where their mothers waited on the other side. But they were not successful and drowned. People often ask why they didn't just jump over, but since they had never encountered a net before, they had no idea that if they jumped over, they would be free.
In order to hide their heinous deed, those responsible for the deaths had the bellies of the dead orcas slit, filled with rocks, and weighted with chains and anchors. They were taken out to sea in the dark of night and sunk to keep their deaths from coming to the attention of the public. However, this did not work. Three of the carcasses washed up on the shore of Whidbey Island during the month of November, 1970. The other ended up in a fisherman's net. The fisherman left the dead orca on the beach behind the house of a reporter for the Seattle Times.
Six years later, a judge reviewed the evidence against Sea World, who was in charge of the capture team. Sea World was banned from capturing Orcas in the state of Washington, but it was too late for those captured. They had already been sold to aquariums around the world. Of these, only Lolita is still alive. Howard Garrett of Orca Network said, "It in simply her remarkable spirit that has kept her alive this long."
Slave to Entertainment is an excellent film and one everyone should see.