01/07

Everybody should be free (to feel good)

By Geisha Bar

The creature lives all alone in a 35 foot cell. Concrete walls torture her with ceaseless reverberating noise. She is denied family visits and has lived this way for 40 years.

This isn’t a dangerous criminal serving a life sentence.

We are talking about Lolita, an orca held captive at the Miami Seaquarium.

Research has come to light that orcas, or killer whales as they are commonly known, are brilliantly intelligent. With a highly complex communication and cultural system, the species needs familial bonds to thrive. 40 years after being ripped away from her pod, Lolita still echoes her family’s particular calls. It is a miracle she has survived this long in captivity.

When the subject of her reintroduction into the wild is raised, people inevitably argue “it’s too late”. Well, we have a great case study to the contrary in Keiko. This killer whale famously played the lead in Free Willy. Keiko was successfully reintroduced into the wild after twenty years in captivity, and paved the way for ongoing orca rehabilitation and conservation.

Apathy is a sad blight on current societal modes of thinking. I ask you, if you lived in solitary confinement in a 35 foot cell for 40 years, concrete walls constantly torturing your sensitive hearing with ceaseless reverberating noise, and you were denied time with beloved family –- would you believe it’s too late for freedom?

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