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SEATTLE (CBSMiami/AP)– The fate of the killer whale known as Lolita looms as a decision from the federal government is expected soon.

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For years, animal activists have campaigned to free Lolita who was captured from Puget Sound waters in 1970 and has been performing at Miami Seaquarium in Florida for over four decades.

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They say the orca belongs to a small population of endangered killer whales and should receive the same federal protection as those wild killer whales.

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A decision from the federal government is expected as early as next week.

The curator of the Miami Seaquarium, Robert Rose, said regardless of what happens Lolita isn’t going anywhere. He said she is healthy, vibrant and has been well-cared for.

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Activists say she belongs in the wild and returning her to her home waters will give her a chance to bond with others orcas that spend time in Washington state waters.

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