Lolita The Orca To Be Released After 50 Years In Captivity At Florida Aquarium

Lolita the orca, who has been kept in captivity at a Florida aquarium for the past 50 years, is finally due for release. The 5,000-pound animal will spend her remaining years at an ocean habitat in the Pacific Northwest thanks to a “binding agreement” between Miami Seaquarium and nonprofit group Friends of Lolita, Reuters reports.

  1. Lolita will be released within the next two years. While that may seem like a long time, it’s an intensive process to secure safe transportation for Lolita across the country and the orca’s safety following her release is paramount.
  2. She’s finally getting to go back home. Lolita is 57 years old. When she was only seven, back in 1970, she was captured off the coast of Seattle. She’s also known as Toki, short for her Native American name of Tokitae. The fact that she’s finally getting to go home is a heartwarming victory for campaigners and animal lovers everywhere.
  3. It’s taken a long time to get to this point, as well. The aquarium was transferred to The Dolphin Co, according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. They then got with Friends of Lolita to provide the orca with medical care, and the relationship progressed from there. “Finding a better future for Lolita is one of the reasons that motivated us to acquire the Miami Seaquarium,” The Dolphin Co Chief Executive Eduardo Albor said in a statement, per Reuters.
  4. Lolita still has quite a few years ahead of her. Assuming she gets good healthcare and proper living conditions, she could live up to 80 years old. The thought of her getting to spend a few decades in a much better environment is absolutely heartwarming. No animals should be held in captivity and treated as toys. We need to treat our animals with respect and love. It’s the only way forward.

Earlier this year, the “world’s loneliest orca” died after being kept in isolated captivity for more than 40 years. Humanity, do better.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
close-link
close-link
close-link
close-link