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.
from what is believed to be a renal condition. Toki was an inspiration to all who had the fortune to hear her story and especially to the Lummi nation that considered her family. Those who have had the privilege to spend time with her will forever remember her beautiful spirit.— Miami Seaquarium (@MiamiSeaquarium) August 18, 2023
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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