TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After being captured in the Pacific Ocean more than 50 years ago, Miami Seaquarium’s famed orca Lolita may return to her “home waters” once again.
The news of Lolita leaving captivity comes after the passing of another killer whale that was held in captivity in Canada.
On Thursday, Miami Seaquarium officials held a press conference to announce the future of the killer whale.
“Now, the news of why we’re here, for the first time ever, a non-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare, in this case, specifically ensuring Lolita, our beloved orca receives the highest quality of life,” officials said during the conference. “Just a little while ago, Friends of Lolita and the Miami Seaquarium signed a collaborative agreement to work together to return Lolita to her home waters.”
According to NBC 6 South Florida, Lolita, also known as Toki, was taken from the waters in Washington State in 1970 when she was about four years old. Now, the orca is estimated to be around 57 years old and is the “oldest killer whale in captivity.”
NBC 6 reported that after years of performances, the 7,000-pound orca fell ill in recent years, and last year, the Seaquarium’s company announced that Lolita would no longer be shown in the whale stadium.