What troubles the 8-year-old is that there’s a whale, Lolita, at the Miami Seaquarium who could forever be stuck in a pool. To the orca, that’s basically a bathtub.
For her 9th birthday Aug. 16, Willow will be swimming for Lolita.
“She made the connection of how these animals are held captive and don’t get to live a natural life,” said Willow’s mother, Erika Mathews.
Willow, an athlete on Erskine Lakes Aquatic Club’s swim team, will make the 1-mile swim across the lake with her mother to raise funds for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Someone in a boat will also be in the lake just in case the pair become fatigued.
“For a 9-year-old, it’s a long distance,” Mathews said. “She’s done this before and I’m confident she can do it again.”
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