More than 100 people gathered on Alki this afternoon to spotlight the plight of a Puget Sound orca who has lived in captivity thousands of miles away for almost half a century.
The Miami Seaquarium calls her Lolita. Here, she is known as Tokitae. Advocates have long pushed for her to be set free so she can live out her life back in her home waters, where there’s a plan for a “sea pen” that would be her home before a potential transition to open waters.
This was a march in solidarity with a gathering in Miami dubbed the “Miracle March.” Organizers included Orca Network founder Howard Garrett, and the marchers heard from Duwamish Tribe council member Ken Workman, welcoming them to Duwamish land and waters, and Paul Chey’okten Wagner from Protectors of The Salish Sea, praying in the Salish language for Tokitae’s return.
This webpage tells her story, including that the orca believed to be her mother is still alive. She is the last surviving orca from among those captured in local waters in the 1970s. The Miami park owners, so far, show no interest in releasing her; this Miami news report includes their statement.