The old killer whale might soon return to the waters off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, where Lolita’s mother is still thought to live.
After 52 years in a tank, Lolita, the killer whale, might return to the ocean and find her old mother there.
The Guardian says that activists are progressing in their decades-long attempt to free Lolita, also called Tokitae or Toki. 1970, she was taken from the wild and put in the Miami Seaquarium.
The article says that the 56-year-old orca has lived and performed in what has been called the smallest tank for captive killer whales in North America since 1970.
Over the years, Lolita’s health has gone up and down. Even though her tankmate Hugo died before she did, experts say the old whale is in “remarkably good shape,” according to a newspaper. He died in 1980 from a brain aneurysm, which was caused by him hitting his head against his cage all the time.
Since 1995, whale researcher and Orca Network activist Howard Garrett has been fighting for Lolita’s freedom. He told The Guardian that she “is a miracle every day.” “It is a miracle that she is still alive. I think that her physical health is kept up by her mental health.
“She’s not shy, neurotic, or acting in any other way that would point to brain damage from being held captive,” he said. In terms of staying healthy, she could be the only one who doesn’t follow the rules.
A USDA review last year found that the Miami Seaquarium didn’t treat the animal well because she wasn’t fed enough and wasn’t drinking enough water.
According to the story, the attending veterinarian was also worried that Toki wasn’t getting enough water (because marine animals get their water from fish) and that her small meals would make her uncomfortable and irritable.
Norway’s government killed Freya the Walrus because they were worried about the public’s safety.
“The AV also had problems with the Training Curator’s requirement that this old whale do fast swims and big jumps during training and shows,” the statement said. The AV was worried that Toki’s odd bloodwork could cause him to overwork and tire out, which both the senior trainer and the AV did notice. The AV found that Toki probably hit her lower jaw while swimming fast on the bottom flume or wall. The medical records for Toki show that she hurt her lower jaw on February 25, March 10, April 6, and April 7, 2021.
The Guardian says that the report’s findings and the fact that the facility’s new owners are open to letting the whale go make activists hopeful about Lolita’s eventual return to the open seas.
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Newsweek says that Lolita may soon be reunited with her mother, a 93-year-old whale named L25 or “Ocean Sun,” even though putting her back in her original setting could be dangerous.
Newsweek says that the older whale is still seen in the waters of the Salish Sea near Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. It is in charge of a group of southern resident killer whales.