Reports reveal rotten fish, emaciation and starvation in marine animals at the Miami Seaquarium

Miami Seaquarium has a history of animal welfare violations, so it’s no surprise that a new PETA report reveals malnutrition, emaciation and rotten fish in the abuse park again.

PETA reported that data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other government agencies, in addition to testimony from animal care experts, revealed shocking abuses. They found that many animals in the park were fed bad or rotting fish, others were underweight or emaciated after cuts to their food supply, and one manatee died after starvation. Those are just some of the welfare issues found at the park.

Source: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)/YouTube

A woman who worked as a veterinarian for Miami Seaquarium, Dr. Jenna Wallace, has partnered with the USDA after revealing investigations. She knows firsthand how Lolita, along with other animals in the park, is malnourished despite vet concerns.

“During the time I worked briefly as a vet at Miami Seaquarium in 2021, there were multiple animals, including… Lolita, with significant dietary cuts that were very concerning. Their hydration status, health and even their general posture were affected. This was demonstrated not only by abnormal blood work, but also by the multiple videos I provided during the USDA investigation into: [Lolita] aggressively hunting the Pacific white-sided dolphins, one of whom died during the federal investigation,” said Dr. Jenna Wallace.

After working with the USDA after the June 2021 inspection, Wallace was reportedly offered a monthly salary to sign a nondisclosure agreement and immediately vacate the facility’s premises. She refused and hasn’t been to the park since. The new vet, Dr. Shelby Loos, joined after Wallace left. Since Loos has been there, an emaciated manatee has died, several harbor seals have died, a Pacific white-sided dolphin named Catalina died of suspected trauma, and Lolita became seriously ill.

Photos uploaded to social media showing the animals used for entertainment show animals that appear to be incredibly emaciated.

“The scapula (shoulder), ribs, and caudal transverse processes in some of these animals are prominent even from a distance. This indicates suspected emaciation or poor body condition in general,” Wallace says.

After the manatee died, the autopsy revealed an empty gastrointestinal tract. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) suspended the Miami Seaquarium from acquiring rescued manatees and downgraded it from an intensive care facility for rescued animals to a holding company. They said the downgrade was because it was “not up to standard of care for an intensive care facility.”

Opened in 1955, the amusement park has long been nicknamed the “abuse park” and is built on exploiting intelligent sea creatures for profit. Finally, after years of public pressure, SeaWorld announced the end of its orca breeding program in March 2016. While this was a win, let’s not forget the other animals and every other amusement park that operates these amazing animals. The torment, captivity and artificial breeding of their animals must end. These animals should not be in captivity to begin with.

Sign this petition to ask SeaWorld to release the remaining orcas to rescue centers.

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