Hollywood figures: Return Lolita to Puget Sound

SEATTLE -- Some big Hollywood names are behind a push to free a captured orca whale and return it to Puget Sound.

Protesters have hounded the Miami Seaquarium for years, urging it to free its star, Lolita. The orca was just seven years old when she was captured in 1970 in the waters off of Whidbey Island, and has been performing daily shows ever since.

But now actor Raul Julia-Levy is getting Hollywood involved. He is the son of the late Raul Julia who starred in "Addams Family" films. Also involved in the effort are Ron Howard, Johnny Depp and Harrison Ford.

"I believe we're going to get her back," said Julia-Levy.

The Hollywood figures are asking producers and directors to boycott film shoots in Florida.

"I believe Hollywood represents three (hundred) to 400 million dollars in films. We have CSI Miami that brings a lot of money into the state," he said.

But the Miami Seaquarium says Lolita couldn't survive in the wild.

"She has entertained and educated millions of children. We think letting her go would be an irresponsible act on our behalf," said Robert Rose of the Seaquarium.

Aquarium officials point to Keiko, the killer whale who was freed after he starred in "Free Willy." He died before learning to live on his own.

But activists say Lolita is different. She was captured after she learned to fish and could be reunited with her family, the "L" pod in Puget Sound.

And if Julia-Levy gets his way, she will be back.

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