9-Year-Old Girl’s Efforts to Help Captive Orcas Snag Her Award From PETA Kids

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Fourth-Grader Launches 'Liberty Lemonade' Stands to Help Raise Awareness of Cruelty to Orcas at SeaWorld, Miami Seaquarium

For Immediate Release:

August 14, 2014


Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Chicago – Nine-year-old Maeve Wolski, a fourth-grader at Chicago’s Hitch Elementary School, put her summer vacation to good use this year: She and her mother started the Liberty Lemonade campaign, selling lemonade door to door and in front of grocery stores and letting people know about Lolita and Morgan, two captive orcas whom PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—and other groups want to return to their families in the ocean. And this is just Maeve’s latest effort to help orcas. Her career as an advocate for orcas already spans two years, and now it’s netted her a Hero to OrcasAward from PETA Kids.

“Maeve is a hero to PETA Kids and to the many people around the world who know that it’s wrong to keep sensitive, intelligent orcas captive in tiny tanks,” says PETA Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “Maeve reminds us all that kids are never too young to speak out against injustice.”

In the second grade, Maeve wrote a report to show her classmates, teacher, and principal why she refused to go on a field trip to the Shedd Aquarium, where dolphins and Beluga whales are held captive in inadequate, small tanks. Maeve later gave a copy of her report to her hero, Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, to thank him for his efforts to call for the release of the young orca Morgan, who is owned by SeaWorld and was supposed to be released back to her family in 2011 but was instead sent to a Spanish amusement park, where severe stress has led her to chew on solid objects and wear her front teeth . Simon was so touched by Maeve’s presentation that he read her report on his radio show three times.

Liberty Lemonade aims to help both Morgan and Lolita, the solitary orca kept at Miami Seaquarium in the smallest orca tank in North America. Lolita’s free-living family members, including her mother, are thriving in the wild under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, which PETA has petitioned the government to extend to Lolita.

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