Hurricane Irma – What Happens To Florida’s Captive Orcas?

hurricane irma

Hurricane Irma has been destroying towns both across the US and beyond, and it has now hit Florida. Not only does it deafen the climate change deniers who said events like this will never happen, it ruins both human and animal lives.

Florida is a tourist state, and makes millions off of its captive animals, whether that be in zoos or SeaWorld.

SeaWorld Polar Bear Dies, Weeks After Being Made Alone

Events such as Hurricane Irma have lead to hundreds of these animals needing to be evacuated and led to safety.

Some of this has been extremely traumatic, with wild animals being sheltered in abandoned prisons, wrapped in towels and airlifted to safety, and some have simply been left alone.

Lolita, an orca at the Miami Seaquarium, has been left in her tank for the duration of the hurricane.

She will be at risk of:

  • flying debris
  • tank damage
  • eletrocution
  • contaminated water

Animals in the wild such as Orca’s will dive deep during disasters such as hurricanes, however, Lolita is simply trapped.

According to Voice Of The Orca’s:

“In the case of Lolita, her stadium could literally collapse, and she’s alone. The Seaquarium was cited in 2003 for a “rusty roof beyond repair” as well as other issues. Unlike the “bunker” of Shamu Stadium in Orlando there’s a fair chance that the roof over Lolita could blow off due to high wind velocities from Irma or a future storm. If she was lucky enough not to get hit by collapsing stadium parts, she stands the chance of being sliced by metal from the roof. A second concern is that the storm surge could or could have (we still don’t know) undermined the structural elements of her tank including the perimeter glass that holds back the water.” 

Lolita has been left to fend for herself, in a tiny, insecure tank that could also become her grave.

Animals should not be kept in captivity, and although some are lucky enough to escape the brunt of Hurricane Irma, cases such as Lolita’s demonstrate explicitly why Orca’s being kept in captivity is inexcusable.

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