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Miami Stories

Seaquarium Protestor to Live in Bathtub for a Month

Leonardo DaSilva

    A 29-year-old New Zealand woman will soon be living in a bathtub for a month outside of the Miami Seaquarium. Danielle Daals says she was inspired to do something after watching the documentary, Blackfish, about killer whales in captivity. (Watch her YouTube video below.)

Her public-protest exhibit is titled “Living like Lolita.” It’s named after the orca that has been performing at the Seaquarium for more than 45 years. Lolita was captured off the coast of Washington state when she was about 5 years old,  along with other members of her pod.

She’s believed to be the oldest captive orca in the world.

Jeff Geragi is the founder of the local group Animal Activists Network. Every weekend for six years, he and other animal-rights advocates have stood in front of the Seaquarium’s entrance with signs and megaphones, trying to turn people away. On average, he says, about 20 to 25 families heed their message every weekend.

“It’s time that we realize that this is the wrong way to view these animals,” he says. “Anybody that’s gone in there and seen that show can see immediately, as soon as she [Lolita] breaches the water, how tiny that tank really is. And it is like a bathtub for her.”

Her current tank’s dimensions were deemed illegal for whales her size, but the Seaquarium has a “grandfather provision” that allows it.

Daals and Geragi want Palace Entertainment, the owners of the Seaquarium, to retire Lolita to a coastal sanctuary.

Geragi and his crew helped raise over $2,500 so far to fly Daals to Miami and cover other expenses through a GoFundMe page.

She will get into the tub on Valentine’s Day and will be there every day through March 14, from about 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. She’ll be talking with onlookers and handing out pamphlets about why using orcas and dolphins for entertainment is wrong.

View her YouTube video here.