FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Aug. 6, 1996
Lowry, Munro to headline Lolita
OLYMPIA - Gov. Mike Lowry and
Secretary of State Ralph Munro will be at Seattle's waterfront
on Friday, Aug. 9 to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the capture
of seven orca whales in Puget Sound. Lolita Symposium '96
will begin at 9 a.m. with an introduction by Lowry and will culminate
at 5 p.m. in a wreath-laying ceremony led by Munro.
Lolita is the name of the sole surviving Puget Sound orca rounded
up by the animal entertainment industry on Aug. 8, 1970. On that
day, more than 80 orcas were herded into Penn Cove off Whidbey
Island for capture, a process that killed five of the whales.
Lolita remains on display at the Miami Seaquarium, where her owners
refuse to put her up for sale.
"Since I began working on the effort to bring Lolita home,
I have learned this is a very popular cause," said Lowry,
who with Munro last year launched a public campaign to return
Lolita from Miami to Puget Sound. "Many people, from here
to Florida, scientists to schoolchildren, feel strongly that animals
as intelligent and majestic as orca whales should not be used
for human entertainment. I am optimistic that the Lolita Symposium
will help to produce a practical plan for us to bring her back
and learn how such creatures can readapt to their native environment."
The primary goal for Lolita's retirement from performing is to
provide humane alternatives to captivity, including potential
reintroduction to her native waters and her family pod. Because
female orcas in the wild typically live more than 50 years, versus
fewer than 10 years in captivity, Lolita's life expectancy may
be vastly improved.
Lowry will kick-off a day-long series of meetings that will bring
marine biologists, civic leaders, artists and business leaders
together to discuss possible ways to bring Lolita home. The day's
Symposium kick-off and workshops, 9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Bell Harbor, Pier 66, Seattle
Wreath-laying ceremony, 5 - 6 p.m.
Bay Pavilion, Pier 57, Seattle
For more information, contact Donna Sandstrom at the Orca Alliance at 206-933-0206 or Ralph Munro at 360-753-7124.