Frequently Asked Questions


How can I help?


Do you truly believe there could be a world of Zero Captivity?

Yes, as society comes to learn about the injustices of captivity we solidly move toward sanctuaries where animals and cetaceans can live out healthy lives free of captivity. 


Why is releasing Lolita your first initiative?

In 1970, more than 80 orcas off the coast of Washington were stalked and forcefully corralled into nets, and seven were abducted that day and sold to marine parks. Lolita is the only surviving orca from that capture and has been at the Miami Seaquarium for 50 years in the smallest, oldest orca tank in the world. It is time for her to go home and we want to help make that happen.


Why should we free captive orcas?

Orcas are intelligent sentient beings. They live in large family groups, known as pods. Female and male offspring remain with their mothers for life, and those in the wild have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. Males have an estimated maximum lifespan of 60 to 70 years and 80 to over 100 for females. We do not feel it is right to take cetaceans into captivity for human entertainment and because they don't have a choice, we have to be the voice for them.


Are orcas whales?

No, orcas are the largest dolphin.


Is Lolita's tank really the smallest and oldest pool in the world?

Yes, the tank doesn’t meet the federal Animal Welfare Act’s minimum size requirement and fails to provide a roof or adequate covering to protect her from the elements of weather. Lolita's pool is just 20 feet at its deepest point and her skin suffers from the sun in not being able to protect herself from it in her tank. During Hurricane Irma. Lolita was left vulnerable in her tank uncovered and unprotected, whereas in the wild she would be able to dive deep for safety.


How many orcas are in the tank with Lolita?

ZERO. Lolita is the only orca at the Miami Seaquarium. She has had no contact with other orcas since her tankmate, Hugo died in 1980. Click here to learn more about Hugo's story.


What causes collapsed dorsal fins?

Collapsed dorsal fins are believed to occur when the orca does not have enough space to swim freely. In the wild, it is said to indicate that an orca is unhealthy.


How many orcas live in captivity across the globe?

As of August 2019, 60 orcas are held captive.


What is an ocean sanctuary?

An ocean sanctuary is a place where captive orcas, dolphins, and whales can be rehabilitated and live permanently in their natural environment.


Where would Lolita go if released into an ocean sanctuary?

The plans are to return Lolita to her home waters off Washington's San Juan Islands, from where she was taken more than 50 years ago. Puget Sound is 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington. The opportunity of being home would allow Lolita to interact with her family pod because her mother and family are all still there.


How do I know if a location is a true sanctuary?

At true sanctuaries, you aren't allowed to pet the animals or take a picture/selfie with them. They also don't breed or engage in performances, demonstrations, or display. If you are at a location that allows those things, you are not at a true sanctuaries. Sanctuaries will always put the needs of the animals before humans.


If you have any more questions about cetaceans or Zero Captivity, please click the chat button.