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Feds debate whale's fate at Miami Seaquarium

(Miami Herald) The federal government has agreed to consider whether to declare Lolita, the Miami Seaquarium’s biggest star for more than 40 years, a member of an endangered pack of Northwest Pacific killer whales.

Animal rights activists hailed the decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service as a potential step toward their long-time goal of returning the oldest whale in captivity to its home waters.

“We fully expect them to conclude that Lolita deserves the same protection as her family in the wild,” said Jared Goodman, an attorney for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which petitioned the service along with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Ideally and realistically, this could ultimately result in her being reunited with her family.”