Orca Lolita will return to the waters where she was born more than 50 years ago.
Lolita, one of the world’s most famous orcas, is about to return to her original home in the waters of the North Pacific after spending more than five decades in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium. This incredible accomplishment was achieved thanks to a historic agreement between the aquarium and several organizations that have come together to financially support Lolita’s well-being and facilitate her release. According to Eduardo Albor, CEO of The Dolphin Company, concessionaire of the Miami Seaquarium, the iconic orca will be moved to a protected area within 6 to 12 months. Once there, she will undergo a rehabilitation program to prepare her for her return to the wild. Although Lolita has spent most of her life in captivity, experts believe she has the skills necessary to survive in the wild.
The news has thrilled animal lovers all over the world.
Miami Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, accompanied by Albor, delivered the news that thrilled many animal lovers around the world. The press conference was filled with anticipation, with journalists and animal rights advocates gathered in one place to witness the historic announcement. Lolita has become a symbol of the fight for animal welfare, and her release has been a long battle for several organizations that have worked tirelessly for her release.
Captured in the North Pacific in 1970
Lolita, the captive orca who was captured in the North Pacific in 1970 and sold for $20,000 to the Miami Seaquarium, has been the subject of protests by animal advocacy groups for years. The Lummi Indians, who consider Lolita a person and call her Tokitae, have also fought for her release. The orca has spent more than 50 years in a small pool, leading many to question the conditions of her captivity and demand that she be released so she can return to her natural home.
A complex transfer
Lolita will be moved to a much larger space in the North Pacific, according to Albor. The relocation process will be complex, and Lolita will be placed in a ‘caleta’, a confined area, rather than in the open ocean. Although she suffered a serious infection last year, independent veterinarians have checked her health and she seems to be in the best condition for the transfer, although veterinary clearance is needed to start the process.
It will be carried on a cargo plane
Lolita will be taken to this location in waters off the coast of Washington state by cargo plane, according to Pritam Singh, one of the founders of the Friends of Lolita organization. Singh has borne Lolita’s living expenses for years and has agreed to fund the costly process of moving her to her new home. The deal was made possible by the desire for Lolita to benefit and Singh has paid $1.5 million for the orca’s upkeep to date.
More than 50 killer whales in captivity worldwide
The agreement that will allow Lolita to be transferred to her original home was made possible by the willingness of the parties involved to cooperate, according to Jim Irsay, one of the funders of the orca’s maintenance. Animal rights organizations such as World Animal Protection and PETA have stressed the importance of releasing Lolita, who has not had contact with another orca since the death of her mate in 1980. Currently, there are more than 50 orcas in captivity worldwide.