Lolita showed signs of stress and frustrated and bored behavior, like head-bobbing and jaw-popping, which has damaged Lolita's teeth (they're permanently damaged and have been drilled more than a dozen times to stave off infection). Poor behavior puts everyone at risk, according to Hargrove. "The significance of this is that when an animal, especially an orca, is failing that much, they become very frustrated and aggression becomes highly probable," he wrote.
Lolita's tank is so small, Ingrid Visser, orca expert with the Orca Research Trust, observed, that she appeared to stand on her tail on the floor of her tank to raise her head, "using the tank floor, in the same way a person could 'handstand' and raise their legs up and down. Such 'tail-standing' has not been reported in the literature for a wild orca," Visser wrote.