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seaquarium2.jpgTickets to the Miami Seaquarium cost $39.95, plus $8 for parking. Where’s the money going? Apparently, it’s not spent on maintenance.

On March 20, a USDA inspector visited the Miami Seaquarium and found a facility in need of major repairs. According to the Inspection Report (download here), “A viewing window in the whale stadium which is part of the primary enclosure and the third window from the east, was noted to be dripping water in a constant stream. The window seal and structural integrity of this area … should be evaluated and appropriate repairs made.”

The inspector also noted, “The metal roof over the public stands in the whale stadium has rusted and corroded areas in the middle third of the roof. Part of the overhang was noted to have flaking rust. Several holes were noted in the metal roof panels as a result of deterioration. Directly in front of the access panel a large area of corrosion was seen adjacent to a support beam. Pieces of the compromised roof could fall into the primary enclosure especially during high winds and adversely affect the welfare of the animals.”

Lolita the orca has lived in the same barren tank at the Seaquarium for over 40 years. She lives a solitary life, performing in depressing daily shows for tourists. Her tank is believed to be the smallest enclosure for an orca in the country.

If you’d like to help Lolita, there are monthly demonstrations outside the Seaquarium in Miami. The next protest will be Saturday, May 5, beginning at 12 noon (Facebook event page).

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