Letter From APHIS

DATE: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:02:48
From: Barbara A Kohn <Barbara.A.Kohn@usda.gov>

Dear Ms. Garcia:

Thank you for your interest in the welfare of the killer whale, "Lolita," at the Miami Seaquarium. While you may not agree, the whale is kept legally under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. (LIE #1- Lolita's tank is well under the minimum requirements) The AWA does not authorize APHIS to make anyone legally holding an animal and complying with the AWA to give up that animal.

Lolita has been maintained in a pool that meets or exceeds all requirements under the AWA. (LIE #2- Same LIE) She has had the company of a number of Pacific white-sided dolphins throughout her stay. (Dolphins that don't speak her language and that torment her daily). In addition, there have, to date, been no documented successful reintroductions of killer whales back into the wild.
(LIE #3 - Keiko has been successfully retired)

APHIS routinely inspects the Miami Seaquarium, as we do with AWA licensees, and document any noncompliance with the regulations and standards. As you may know, the facility has finally gotten zoning approval and financing for a new whale stadium. Once completed, Lolita will be transferred to the new pools.
(LIE #4 - They've been telling us that for 25 years. There is NO new Tank!)

Thank you for your concern for the welfare of animals.

Sincerely,
Animal Care