I don’t mean to turn this into the FREE THE WHALES blog or anything, but I have to tell you that I simply cannot get the tragedy from yesterday out of my head. I even dreamed about it last night. Something about it is just hurting me on such a deep level… I can’t say that I have been affected by a horror story like this one, in this way, in a really long time. (The last time was when a whale or dolphin in Canada jumped up too high in its tank while doing a trick, hit its head on a concrete bridge-thing above the tank, broke its jaw and skull and died a very bloody death right in front of spectators. I heard about that sometime in middle school, I think, and found that I couldn’t get THAT out of my head, either. I can’t seem to find the news story about it yet.)
I am not hormonal. I’m not being a bleeding-heart liberal, or anything but MYSELF when I say I am beyond P I S S E D about captive marine mammals right now. When is it going to be enough to make the public stop going there?!
Do you know that today…one DAY after the tragedy… people were “lining up to get into the park” like it was any other day? How could these people not be moved by what happened?! I don’t get it. What kind of message does it send to the children they’re bringing into the park? Oh my God, it makes me want to puke.
I am sitting here at my desk, crying. At work.
Yeah, I know. I should be working. But like I said, it keeps creeping back into my mind and I just want to do something. I want to act, want to make a difference somehow. I’m frustrated.
While reading comments on the story on one of the many news outlets, I heard mention of Lolita, a whale that lives down in the Miami Seaquarium. The name was vaguely familiar. After a quick Google search, I remembered why. When I joined the Humane Society of the U.S. back in my 20s, I joined after reading her story! I recalled how I’d been doing one of my standard searches to research cetacean behavior for my book, and came upon something the HSUS had put together about this poor whale. It moved me to tears, and made me pull out my wallet and donate. So it was HER… she’s the animal that pushed me over the edge and into “I’m giving money” territory. (Here’s something current from the HSUS)
Get the tissues, and read about Lolita’s capture in the 1970s, and how she lives in an illegal tank (much too small for a whale, by law, but the park claims poverty so they never built her a larger tank) right now, all alone, calling out to her lost pod.
If this story doesn’t touch you, I don’t know what to tell you. The thing is, it’s all true. There are even videos of this capture and several news reports about the dead baby whales washing up on shore afterwards… pretty brutal stuff. The kind of thing that makes you go, “I didn’t know humans could be THAT cruel.”
Please help me spread the message around. I feel like blogging and posting on Facebook are my most effective outlets right now, and my friends and other cetacean-sympathizers (the stories are no less sad for dolphins and sea lions, by the way) are my allies, as I really, REALLY try to be part of the movement to stop this insanity, once and for all. I sincerely appreciate anything you might choose to do on your own to help!
This is Hugo… another captured whale that lived with Lolita for 10 years at the Miami Seaquarium before he died. Well, the truth is he kind of bashed his own head into the concrete walls of his tank so much he gave himself a brain aneurysm.
How nice of the local paper to preserve what little could be salvaged of the poor thing’s dignity when he died:
I wonder how human widows would feel about published photos of their deceased husband’s remains being taken from the house on a stretcher? Not that Lolita knew about this photo, of course, but the point is: why be so callous about animals? I mean, come on.
This society has GOT to evolve sometime. God, I hope so.