County moves to terminate Seaquarium lease

With growing concerns about the welfare of animals at the Miami Seaquarium , Miami-Dade County told the park’s owner it is in violation of the lease for the Virginia Key tourist attraction.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Sunday sent a “notice of advisement” to The Dolphin Co., which owns Seaquarium, that the county aims to terminate the 2021 lease after reports of substandard animal care.

The park’s iconic killer whale, Lolita, also died last August of renal disease and pneumonia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture informed the county of repeated instances of animal welfare violations at Seaquarium that culminated in the notice to confiscate four animals – the first time in 30 years the agency has taken such a measure, according to the county’s notice of advisement.

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“The welfare of these animals is paramount, and any compromise and any compromise in their care is a direct contravention of our shared commitment to their well-being,” Levine Cava wrote to Seaquarium.

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