The National Marine Fisheries Service has now included orca Lolita as a member of the Southern Resident killer whales who are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately this does not mean she is any closer to freedom.
On the contrary Miami Seaquarium's general manager Andrew Hertz has said "Lolita is healthy and thriving in her home ... we are not willing to treat her life as an experiment". Such hypocrisy when 44 years of her life have been taken from her as part of one completely misguided and inhumane experiment.
Potential plans to release her into a sea pen or the open sea where she can reunite with her pod are controversial because Keiko survived for only five years after his release. I know that all animals hate being caged as much as we do and maybe a short spell of dangerous freedom is better than the hell of captivity.
The only good news is that her new status enables lawsuits to be filed on her behalf.