每日英語跟讀 Ep.K553: Miami Seaquarium to return oldest captive killer whale, Lolita, to her natural habitat
Lolita, the 56-year-old killer whale, who has been living in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium in Florida for more than five decades, will be released back into her home waters in the Pacific Northwest within the next two years. The announcement was made by the aquarium on Thursday in partnership with the non-profit organization, Friends of Lolita. The NFL football team owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, will fund the relocation of Lolita, also known as Tokitae or Toki, to the North Pacific Ocean.
56歲的虎鯨Lolita在佛羅里達州邁阿密海洋公園被囚禁了超過五十年，現在將在未來兩年內釋放回她在太平洋西北部的家鄉。這項消息是海洋公園與非營利組織Friends of Lolita於星期四宣布的。NFL足球隊印第安納波利斯小馬隊的老闆Jim Irsay將資助Lolita遷移回北太平洋的費用。
Lolita is a female Southern Resident killer whale and was one of the many orcas captured during the captivity programmes that occurred in the 1970s. These programmes led to the endangerment of the orca population, which was recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2005. Lolita group’s capture led to the separation of many Southern Resident killer whales from their pods. However, Lolita has been living alone for over 40 years as her companion, Hugo, died in 1980.
Experts have cautioned the release of Lolita back into the wild, considering her age and her long period of captivity, which could make it challenging for her to forage on her own. Consequently, the orca will likely spend her remaining days in a sea pen, where she can feel her 'home waters' and reconnect acoustically with her pod. Nonetheless, animal rights activists have continued to advocate for the release of the remaining Southern Resident orcas that are still in captivity.
Lolita's relocation is a significant step towards freeing animals from captivity, and it is a symbolic victory, according to Jason Colby, an environmental historian and professor at the University of Victoria. He adds that it would be a great success if Lolita's release would encourage people to commit to ensuring that the orca family has a safe place to live.
In 2021, Lolita's retirement was announced by the Seaquarium, and Eduardo Albor, the CEO of The Dolphin Company, praised animal rights activists and the Seaquarium team for working together towards the release of the captive killer whale. As the world anticipates Lolita's return to her natural habitat, the partnership between the Miami Seaquarium and Friends of Lolita will ensure that Lolita's journey back home is successful.
在2021年，海洋公園宣布了Lolita的退休，The Dolphin Company的執行長Eduardo Albor表揚了動保人士和海洋公園團隊同心協力釋放這隻被囚禁虎鯨的努力。隨著全球期待Lolita回歸其自然棲息地，邁阿密海洋公園和Friends of Lolita將合作確保Lolita回家的路平安順遂。