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Miami Seaquarium Protesters Can Get Closer To Attraction Visitors

The killer whale Lolita is believed to be nearly 50 years old. Animal rights advocates say she lives alone in a small tank. She was captured in the Pacific Ocean in 1970.
The killer whale Lolita is believed to be nearly 50 years old. Animal rights advocates say she lives alone in a small tank. She was captured in the Pacific Ocean in 1970.
The killer whale Lolita is believed to be nearly 50 years old. Animal rights advocates say she lives alone in a small tank. She was captured in the Pacific Ocean in 1970.
Credit susanlee828/flickr
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The killer whale Lolita is believed to be nearly 50 years old. Animal rights advocates say she lives alone in a small tank. She was captured in the Pacific Ocean in 1970.

Animal rights activists who object to the treatment of some of the animals kept at the MiamiSeaquariumare getting a little more room to air their concerns. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has settled a lawsuitwith Miami-Dade police over how much space protesters can occupy outside the venue.The agreement gets rid of the "red zones" imposed by police on public sidewalks outside the attraction. Protesters were banned from those areas.

The settlement means critics of the Seaquarium, located near Key Biscayne, can get close enough to speak to visitors and hand out flyers.

The previous policy was challenged on First Amendment grounds by the ACLU on behalf of three animal rights advocates. Protests are common at the Seaquarium mainly because of its star attraction, the orca Lolita, who’s been living there for 45 years.

A separate lawsuit seeks Lolita's release into a sanctuary in her native Pacific Ocean off the northwest U.S. coast.

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