The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

Miami-Dade moves to evict Seaquarium operator from Virgina Key

County alleges failure to maintain property, provide adequate care to marine animals
The+Miami+Seaquarium%2C+days+after+the+death+of+the+orca+Lolita.+The+death+of+the+whale+has+amplified+calls+for+the+closure+of+the+aquarium.+Beacon+Archive.
The Miami Seaquarium, days after the death of the orca “Lolita.” The death of the whale has amplified calls for the closure of the aquarium. Beacon Archive.

Miami-Dade County moved yesterday to terminate its lease with The Dolphin Company, the operator of the Miami Seaquarium, alleging neglect of the county-owned facilities and the animals they contain.

The Notice of Termination of Lease and Additional Notice of Defaults gives The Dolphin Company until Monday to return the letter to the county, and until Apr. 21 to vacate the facility.

The notice outlines allegations of violations against the facility and a failure to provide adequate care to its animals.

Specifically, the county uses United States Department of Agriculture reports to identify improper handling of animals, failing to maintain facilities leading to injuries, failing to have adequate staff, and failure to maintain indoor facilities.

Story continues below advertisement

“These continuous, repeated and ongoing violations, represent not just a default under the terms of the Lease that requires termination, but complete disregard for the safety of the animals housed on the premises,” according to the notice of eviction.

The notice also goes into detail about the poor structure of the buildings.

“Lessee and Lessor were notified of several violations on numerous structures, including failure to maintain Flipper stadium, failure to maintain Manatee Tank Area, and failure to maintain Dolphin stadium, among other things.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and District 7 Commissioner Raquel Regalado, whose district contains the Miami Seaquarium and MAST Academy, spoke to the media yesterday afternoon after the notice was delivered.

“The commissioner of the district and I share a commitment to the well-being of these animals,” Levine Cava said Thursday afternoon. “We are doing what we have the obligation to do under our responsibilities.”

“The current state of the Miami Seaquarium is not the place that we visited as kids, and it’s not the place that we want our children to visit,” Regalado said. “So, it’s very important for our residents to understand that this is about the safety and well-being of the animals.”

The mayor, who stated The Dolphin Company owes the county more than $88,000 in back rent, made clear that the county has no ownership of the animals themselves, just the property. However, when asked what the country would do if The Dolphin Company leaves the animals behind if and when it vacates the property, Cava said, “We are preparing for any contingency.”

“The commissioner of the district and I share a commitment to the well-being of these animals,” Cava said. “We are doing what we have the obligation to do under our responsibilities.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Beacon

Your donation will support the student journalists of MAST Academy. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Beacon

Comments (0)

All The Beacon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *