Just in time for the summer tourist season, Kate del Castillo is making a splash on Miami television with a PETA ad in which she calls on travelers to stay away from the Miami Seaquarium, where the orca Lolita has been held for decades — and without orca companionship since her companion, Hugo, died in an apparent suicide after ramming his head into the tank wall in 1980.
The ad aired in English on WPLG-TV on Sunday during the news between 9 and 10 a.m. and will air this week twice during the news between 9 and 10 a.m. and once during the news between 12 noon and 1 p.m. It will also air in Spanish on WFUN-TV (América TeVé) seven times during the news between 5 and 6:30 p.m. and five times between 7 and 11 p.m.
“Lolita’s story is particularly tragic and poignant to me because I come from a tight-knit family. And so does she,” says the Reina del Sur star. “Orca families spend their entire lives together. Lolita should have spent her life with her mother and aunts and siblings. But instead, she has spent 46 long and totally miserable years stuck inside the world’s smallest orca tank at the Miami Seaquarium.”
PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — notes that the tank at the Seaquarium is only as deep as Lolita is long. There, she’s raked by dolphins and given drugs daily — including antibiotics, antifungals, pain medication (including narcotics), steroids, hormones, and/or antacids. A detailed plan exists to move her to a sea sanctuary in a protective cove in her home waters — all the Seaquarium has to do is agree to retire her there.
Del Castillo is part of a growing list of celebrities — including Jason Biggs, Jessica Biel, Wilmer Valderrama, Bob Barker, Alfonso Herrera, Carla Morrison, and Krysten Ritter — who’ve teamed up with PETA and PETA Latino to speak out against marine abusement parks.