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VIDEO: Ringwood Girl Swims For Miami Orca

Willow will be swimming in support of a Miami Seaquarium orca on her birthday.
Willow will be swimming in support of a Miami Seaquarium orca on her birthday. Video Credit: Daily Voice
Willow, 8, of Ringwood, stands in front of the lake she'll swim across for Lolita on Aug. 16, her birthday.
Willow, 8, of Ringwood, stands in front of the lake she'll swim across for Lolita on Aug. 16, her birthday. Photo Credit: Submit
Willow Phelps of Ringwood swims in Cupsaw Lake.
Willow Phelps of Ringwood swims in Cupsaw Lake. Photo Credit: Erika Mathews

RINGWOOD, N.J. — Willow Phelps wouldn’t get very far if she tried swimming in her Ringwood bathtub.

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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