Miami Seaquarium criticizes 'fringe group' for orca campaign

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 17, 2017

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami Seaquarium says it won't release its orca named Lolita to "appease a fringe group" that includes Mexican actress Kate del Castillo.

Del Castillo and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a campaign Tuesday calling for the orca's release. In the videos, del Castillo says Lolita is suffering in a small tank, and she urges people to boycott marine parks.

In a statement, Seaquarium General Manager Andrew Hertz said it would be "reckless and cruel" to move the "healthy and thriving" orca from its home for the last 46 years.

Lolita has lived at Miami Seaquarium since its legal capture off the Pacific Northwest in 1970. Hertz says there's no evidence the orca that's over 50 years old would survive a transition to a sea pen or open waters.