Victory! Miami-Dade County Terminates Miami Seaquarium’s Lease & Orders Park To Vacate By April 21st

A huge victory as Miami-Dade County announces that they have issued a notice to terminate the lease of Miami Seaquarium, following a string of federal inspection reports of alleged poor care of their animals. The facility has until April 21st to vacate its government-owned park.

“It’s a day of vindication for those of us who have steadfastly fought against the Miami Seaquarium’s cruelty, but it’s an even better day for their animals. Hopefully, they will be relocated to sanctuary settings or in the least far better facilities. It’s time to end the Seaquarium’s near 70 year existence. Can’t happen soon enough,” Phil Demers, Founder of UrgentSeas, told WAN.

Miami-Dade County’s administration notified the Seaquarium in late December that it planned to terminate the additional violations of the lease term. Over the past few years, there have been a number of damning USDA inspection reports at Miami Seaquarium, with a large number of very concerning animal welfare issues.

“Lessee’s long and troubling history of violations constitute repeated, continuing longstanding violations of Lessee’s contractual obligations to keep the property in a good state of repair, maintain animals in accordance with applicable law, and comply with all laws,” stated a letter from Jimmy Morales, chief operating officer under Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

The termination letter starts a process that could lead to an eviction if the Seaquarium doesn’t agree to vacate. Morales gave Eduardo Albor, president of the Seaquarium’s parent company, a Monday deadline to sign an agreement to surrender the county property by the April 21st termination date. If the Seaquarium does not agree to give up the 38-acre site, Morales wrote, Miami-Dade “shall avail itself of any and all legal means to enforce its rights and remedies.”

If an eviction process follows, the Seaquarium could fight the effort in court and ask a judge to declare the park in compliance with lease provisions, which the county is citing as the basis for terminating the deal.

In recent years, Miami Seaquarium has been scrutinized by animal advocates due to their confinement of orcas and dolphins, but the aquarium received even more backlash after beloved resident orca Lolita, also known as Tokitae, died last summer.

The announcement of Lolita’s death was even more heartbreaking due to the fact that earlier last year, there were plans to finally return the beloved orca back into the wild.

As previously reported by WAN, Lolita’s heartbreaking life in captivity began on August 8th, 1970, in Penn Cove, Puget Sound, Washington, when she was horrifically stolen from her family pod in the Pacific Northwest. She was approximately four years old when she was kidnapped from the wild and has since had to endure a life of captivity in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium.

Miami Seaquarium’s notice to terminate offers hope to all animals that are forced into a life of captivity. Let this be a prime example that through awareness and peaceful protests, we have the power to make a difference for the voiceless!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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