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Miami Seaquarium makes changes to killer whale show

Employees no longer allowed in water during Lolita's performances

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MIAMI – Following an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Miami Seaquarium is making changes to its killer whale performance.

According to officials with the Seaquarium, a citation was issued by OSHA to remove employees from the water during Lolita's show performance because of concern for employee safety.

"Had the Seaquarium continued to expose trainers to the danger of direct contact, it could well have followed in SeaWorld's footsteps with the loss of human life by deeply frustrated captive marine mammals," Jared Goodman, the PETA Foundation director of animal law, said in a statement Monday.

PETA credits their efforts of a petition filed by several parties, which it said granted Lolita protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund had also raised concerns about the condition of Lolita, who has been at the Sequarium for 45 years.

"For too long, Lolita has suffered pathetic and illegal conditions at the Miami Seaquarium," ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells said. "ALDF intends to see that this facility's failure to comply with the law, and the harms they've caused her, is swiftly corrected by the courts."

Seaquarium officials said Lolita "will continue to receive the same care, stimulation and attention that she has for nearly 45 years. She will continue to be an ambassador for her species from her home at Miami Seaquarium."

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