In a historic decision, a killer whale named Lolita is all set to be freed from a Florida aquarium and returned to her home waters in the Pacific Northwest. The decision to free Lolita was taken on Thursday after the operator of the Miami Seaquarium formally agreed to "bring to life the dream of returning Lolita to an ocean sanctuary.” Lolita is 56 years old and is one of the oldest orcas in captivity. Animal activists have been fighting for her freedom for decades, arguing that she deserved to return to her home in the Pacific Northwest. Although the decision to release Lolita has finally been taken, questions are being raised on its survival as it has multiple health issues.

Lolita has had multiple health scares over the years, including an infection that caused her to stop eating back in October. Back in 1970, Lolita and a number of other whales were part of a violent capture from a pod in the Puget Sound near Seattle. Four baby whales and an adult were killed during the capture.

Americans divided over freeing Lolita

A user wrote, "I honestly can't believe they are going to take Lolita the killer whale from South Florida and dump it in freezing cold water it has never known. It would be better to just release it right here instead of this wacky PETA plan. Shame Shame Shame..Mark my words. This beautiful whale will probably not survive the journey to Seattle, and if by some miracle it does, it will be dead in a month. Poor thing is going to miss its dolphin friends fiercely. There is literally nothing good about this."

Another user wrote, "Animal rights activists are all about feelings over facts. They don’t actually care about animals, just the idea of them. Sadly Lolita’s situation is tragic all around at this point. SeaWorld would be way better but these activist types would never allow it."

"This is a terrible plan. The stress alone will be traumatic. One thing I learned with sea mammals and owning marine fish is they are patternized and stress a lot when the pattern is disrupted." wrote another user.

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Another user wrote, "Wasn’t this done with the whale that was in Free Willie. I am afraid that whale did not last long I believe most wildlife specialists would consider this whale ineligible for r reintroduction into the wild."

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