Miami Seaquarium Fined $7,000 for Letting Trainers Work With Lolita Unprotected

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lolitaosha.jpg
Animal activists are claiming a victory today after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration hit Miami Seaquarium with a pretty hefty fine for letting trainers work with Lolita the orca without proper safety precautions.

In 2010, SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau died while she was swimming in a pool with an orca. Since the incident, OSHA has required there be physical barriers or a safe amount of distance between orcas and trainers during performances.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund caught trainers breaking those requirements on video, and OSHA has responded by fining the Seaquarium a "serious" $7,000.

"We celebrate OSHA's swift enforcement against this dangerous facility," Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said in a statement. "The Miami Seaquarium is risking trainers' lives to exploit Lolita, a wild-captured orca, for huge revenue. The corporation continues to disregard worker safety and animal welfare laws as long as it brings in big profits."

The Seaquarium was also cited but not fined for other violations. OSHA found that some employees who were scuba diving were not properly trained in CPR and first aid and did not have a proper reserve cylinder of oxygen on them, nor were the times of dives properly logged.

The complaint and fine is just the latest battle in a war between the Seaquarium and animal activists.

Lolita has been in captivity since 1970 and lives in the smallest orca tank in North America. In 2005, her original family, the Puget Sound L-pod, was protected under the Endangered Species Act. Activists hope to have the protective status applied to Lolita as well, with the ultimate goal of returning her to a seaside sanctuary in Puget Sound, Washington.

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28 comments
Karla Ruiz-Gomez
Karla Ruiz-Gomez

The Miami Seaquarium averages 2,000 visitors a day with Lolita being their star attraction. That’s approximately 730,000 people a year. At $35.95 an adult ticket and $26.95 a child’s ticket, that’s $22,958,500 a year, considering half the visitors are adults and half are children. And this isn’t even taking into consideration the extra money they make on the swim with dolphin program, which they recently added at a cost of $5,000,000. On top of that there are the food and beverage concessions, souvenirs, parking ($8 per car), photos as you enter, etc. Lolita has helped the Miami Seaquarium earn approximately or even more than $895,381,500 in the 39 years she has been held captive there. Fuck Arthur Hertz

Sayre Shallow
Sayre Shallow

The gig is up. They should now use the facility for injured sea animals, birds and other animals. They could save face maybe.

Danny Aguirre
Danny Aguirre

fuck that place. its inhumane, outdated and super expensive! It needs to be shut down!!!!

Shitstain Mcgraw
Shitstain Mcgraw

7,000$ fine ain't shit nigga, I pay that a month in fines to the NYC department of buildings

Kasey Brewer
Kasey Brewer

I wonder when humans will stop exploiting animals for selfish, needless wants???

teresa207
teresa207

Wow, $7,000 must put a huge dent in their budget. It should be $7,000,000!!!!!

teresa207
teresa207

Wow, $7,000 must put a huge dent in their budget. It should be $7,000,000!!!!!

Eve Lan
Eve Lan

$7000? What a joke! Is this really an article?

Vicky Gualda
Vicky Gualda

This is a joke; right? $7000?? That's the same as nothing.

Portia Amador
Portia Amador

So sad...was hard to enjoy that show as its painfully obvious the orca is distressed! That tank is so tiny!! :-) p"

Katy Francesca
Katy Francesca

Close anything that has animals in captivity and kept as a "circus" act. Zoos, aquariums, everything!

Shayla Walsh
Shayla Walsh

They should fine them much more than that. $7000 is what...profits from one hour of entry fees?

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