(WSB photo from 2015 Alki ‘Free Lolita’ rally)
There will be no homecoming for the last Southern Resident Killer Whale in captivity. The 57-year-old orca known as Tokitae (previously Lolita) has died. She was estimated to be four years old when captured 53 years ago off Whidbey Island. The Miami Seaquarium announced her death on social media, saying in part:
Over the last two days, Toki started exhibiting serious signs of discomfort, which her full Miami Seaquarium and Friends of Toki medical team began treating immediately and aggressively. Despite receiving the best possible medical care, she passed away Friday afternoon from what is believed to be a renal condition.
The Seaquarium stopped making her perform two years ago. Recent plans to try moving her back to Puget Sound were still being developed – as we noted back in April – after years of protests and other advocacy, here and elsewhere, demanding she be brought home.