Remembering the Life of Lolita the Captured Orca and Her Legacy

Paying tribute to Lolita in honor of World Animal Day (Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023).

Tokitae, also known as Lolita, was a 57-year-old orca that lived in isolation in a small tank captured in the wild when she was around 4 years old and then spent most of her life in a small tank at Miami Seaquarium, where she was forced to perform. Sadly, news broke on August 18th that Lolita died suddenly of suspected renal failure. She was in the news in March when it was announced that she would be transferred to a natural sea pen in the Pacific Northwest to be reunited with her family. Sadly, that day didn’t come, and she died having never seen another orca or the ocean since her capture. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to Lolita, this majestic creature, and continue to fight for captive wild animals and their freedom.

Please do not support businesses that exploit ocean creatures such as Lolita and share her story with others so her legacy can live on in our hearts, minds, and memories forever!

I will always remember “Lolita’s story,” and her plight inspired me to write about her story in my wildlife chapter of the book, A Voice for Animals, and the cruelty of keeping wild animals trapped and used for human entertainment forcing wild animals into captivity to perform for “entertainment.”

As I often say, “Animals are here with us, not for us.” We share this planet with other animals, including ocean creatures and we should leave them to swim freely in the waters!

I wish to remember lovely Lolita and pay tribute and I feel bittersweet. I am sad but also I was inspired by the efforts of many advocates and activists around the world taking a stand for her freedom. I think of Lolita swimming freely now as her soul is released into the ocean of eternity and smiling upon us for trying to help her and knowing her life will not be forgotten.

The release of Lolita would have been a victory for wildlife conservation and respect for wildlife as well as our human-animal understanding and respect for the diversity of life on this planet that we share with other species. I will always remember this quote “Free Lolita and free ourselves.”

We can continue to fight for the freedom of other captive wildlife creatures and improve their lives. Let’s end captivity and not support businesses that profit from keeping animals in captivity for human entertainment to learn more: