Nine-year-old fights for killer whale's freedom
SEATTLE, WA -- He may not be old enough to understand the dynamics of retirement, but 9-year-old Trevor Beavers knows that it is high time for Lolita, the killer whale, to start enjoying some freedom during the remaining years of what could be a long life in the wild.
Young Beavers, whose infectious smile is nearly as big as his heart, has joined a worldwide effort to help free the killer whale which was captured near Beavers' home on August 8, 1970.
Seven very young whales were sold to the entertainment industry. Of the 45 whales removed or killed during the capture, Lolita remains the only survivor.
The concern by animal welfare activists is just how much longer this killer whale can survive existence in isolated confinement that is reportedly one of the smallest and oldest whale tanks in North America.
This upsets many of Lolita's supporters, like young Beavers, who set up a Web page on Facebook to garner additional support for Lolita. To date, he has amassed more than 1,000 supporters from as far away as Budapest, Hungary. The list of supporters grows by the hour.
"Trevor thought of [the 'LLL: Let Lolita Live' Web page] for the protest that will be going on in Seattle on May 15," said his mother, animal protector Audra Beavers. "He even had his grandma make Tshirts for this event."
Writes Trevor on his Web page: "...Lolita needs to go back to her family to live a longer life with other whales. She is treated like crud because she [is] in a small tank alone and has to perform to eat!"
This is why conservationists, as young as Trevor, want to reunite Lolita with her home waters and, if possible, with her family.
As stated on the "Free Lolita Page": "First contact could be by cellular phone or satellite link, then, if she [is] deemed healthy, she could return home to her native waters.
"Killer whales in captivity tend to die in their youth, but if she comes back to her home waters she could live to fifty more years of age. She still [may have] time to have a calf."
Female killer whales in the wild can live to age 90.
Many of Hollywood's top celebrities have joined the drive to push for Lolita's return to her home waters.
Actor/producer/philanthropist Raul Julia Levy has been relentless at assembling some of the most powerful icons and political heavyweights in the motion picture industry, including Johnny Depp, Harrison Ford, Janet Jackson, Ron Howard, Wesley Snipes and Elton John, to name a few.
If their efforts prove successful, they will have a new generation of sea animal protectors to recognize.
"You are a real champion," Julia Levy told 9-year-old Trevor Beavers.