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Miami Seaquarium Protesters Can Get Closer To Attraction Visitors


Animal rights activists who object to the treatment of some of the animals kept at the Miami Seaquarium are getting a little more room to air their concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has settled a lawsuit with Miami-Dade police over how much space protesters can occupy outside the venue.

The agreement gets rid of the "red zones" imposed by police on public sidewalks outside the attraction. Protesters were banned from those areas.

The settlement means critics of the Seaquarium, located near Key Biscayne, can get close enough to speak to visitors and hand out flyers.

The previous policy was challenged on First Amendment grounds by the ACLU on behalf of three animal rights advocates. Protests are common at the Seaquarium mainly because of its star attraction, the orca Lolita, who’s been living there for 45 years.

A separate lawsuit seeks Lolita's release into a sanctuary in her native Pacific Ocean off the northwest U.S. coast.