Orca Whale Named Lolita Closer To Being Protected Under The Endangered Species Act

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) yesterday issued a "positive 90-day finding" on a petition to include the orca named Lolita among the wild southern resident killer whales who are listed as "endangered" and from which Lolita was captured in the early 1970s and put on exhibition in Miami Florida.  We represent the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, the Orca Network, and several individuals in pressing to have Lolita protected under the ESA.  Since her capture, Lolita has been living in a tank of water at the Miami Seaquarium which falls below the minimum standards for cetaceans of her size, and where she is denied shelter from the sun and companions of her own species.  NMFS has concluded that the listing petition presents "substantial scientific or commercial information indicating" that including Lolita as endangered is "warranted."  The agency will now have nine months -- after notice and comment from the public -- to decide whether Lolita should be listed.  For a copy of the agency's decision click here