Yesterday I came across the story of Lolita. Lolita the Orca was caught on 8th August 1970 off Penn Cove, Puget Sound, Washington State. At the time she was very young and was one of 80 Orcas taken during that hunt. Since then she has lived in a tank 60-foot by 80-foot by 20 feet deep. For the first 10 years or so she shared the tank with another Orca called Hugo who eventually died from self-inflicted wounds as a result of repeatedly and deliberately smashing his head against the side of the pool. She now shares her home with a pair of dolphins.
If you follow me on Facebook you may have noticed that I often express my despair at the treatment of animals by human beings, particularly by those people who think they are apex predators because they slaughter a captive lion, giraffe, bear, elephant or rhinoceros when there is no absolutely danger to themselves and for no other reason than they can.
Lolita, a real apex predator designed to travel vast distances in her oceans, has been trapped in a tiny pool for 44 years. All this in the name of entertainment, or rather profit. The owners of Seaquarium in Miami in Florida refuse to set her free, despite numerous law suits, requests and petitions.
Astonishingly her mother is still alive and free. Wouldn’t it be great if they could be reunited?
So what does all this have to do with you and me?
Well, it occurred to me while I was reading Lolita’s story that many of us feel trapped, either by circumstance or by our own actions. It started me thinking that unlike Lolita we humans can almost always choose to set ourselves free. Free from the fears and phobias, habits, behaviours and emotions which hold us back from being the individual we can be.
To me it doesn’t matter how we do it. It may take sheer guts, hard work and determination. We may employ hypnotism, NLP, psychotherapy, EFT, Shamanism, CBT, exercise, Reiki, acupuncture or any of the myriad of other therapies and interventions out there. What matters is that we decide to change, to improve, to escape!
Because most of the time if we want to – we can. Lolita cannot! She is an apex predator reduced to performing tricks for profit. Lolita has no control over her life, we do, if only we would grasp it. I just hope her escape is not to die in the pool.
If Lolita’s story has touched you as it touched me and you want to try to help you can sign the PETA petition asking for her release here.
Otherwise, what is stopping you from escaping to a better life and a better you?