VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (WSVN) - Time is running out for Miami Seaquarium as they brace for a possible eviction.

7News cameras captured a group of protesters holding signs outside the marine park on Virginia Key, just after 10 a.m., Sunday.

Demonstrators held up signs and reiterated their calls for the seaquarium to shut down.

The Dolphin Company, which operates the Miami Seaquarium, has until the end of the day to vacate the waterfront location that it leases from Miami-Dade County.

If the premises are not vacated, the county plans to move forward with an eviction.

The Dolphin Company filed a federal lawsuit on Friday alleging lease violations in their latest effort to fight the process. Company officials want a federal judge to block the eviction.

The county, however, wants them out, citing a series of reports from inspectors regarding problems with the park’s care of animals.

The suit accuses the county of unfair regulatory practices, breach of agreement, restrictive zoning and land use policies, economic damage and reputational harm.

“I will just let my lawyers defend our rights, because it is offensive to speak about my people. My people are responsible for the animals, so let the lawyers do their work,” said Dolphin Company CEO Eduardo Albor back in March.

The lawsuit also argues The Dolphin Company will suffer millions of dollars in damages if forced to vacate. They’re seeking a restraining order to prevent the county from seizing park animals.

The suit claims the seaquarium is a victim of a vendetta by Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s administration.

In a statement, Albor wrote:

“Filing this lawsuit against Miami-Dade County is a step we take with heavy hearts but clear minds, driven by our duty to protect our legacy and ensure our ability to continue making positive impacts on marine conservation.”

Eduardo Albor, The Dolphin Company

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