Lolita, famed killer whale at Miami Seaquarium, dies

Orca performed in captivity for decades

Beloved orca Lolita to be moved back to home waters from Miami Seaquarium

MIAMI – Lolita, the 57-year-old killer whale who lived at Miami Seaquarium, has died of an apparent renal condition, the facility announced Friday.

The attraction said Lolita, also known as Tokitae or Toki, began showing signs of discomfort two days ago. A medical team had been treating her, but she passed away Friday afternoon.

Lolita was about 4 years old when she was captured in Pugent Sound in 1970, spending the ensuing decades performing in captivity.

Last year the seaquarium announced her retirement, under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and earlier this year it looked like efforts would begin to prepare to return her to the Pacific Northwest. The aquarium and the Friends of Toki group working on the plan still needed federal and state approval.

The move would have required working with trainers to teach her how to survive in the wild, including building up muscle and teaching her to hunt and catch fish.

The Miami Seaquarium announced that it would be closed on Aug. 19 to allow the “team to reflect on Lolita’s life and legacy.” It will reopen on Sunday.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.