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Some Former Professionals Who Worked With Toki Do Not Want Her Moved To Puget Sound

Miami, FL – An Orca who has spent the bulk of her life in captivity is supposed to be transported cross-country and released into a sea pen in the Puget Sound, but some of the professionals who have worked with her in the past think it is a bad idea. The whale, Lolita, aka Toki or Tokitae, has been living for decades in Florida at the Miami Seaquarium…just four years of her life were spent in the open waters of Puget Sound.

But the lure of putting the 57-year-old orca back in Puget Sound isn’t tempting to some people who believe that the seaquarium where she has been living is her home. Dr. Michael Renner, a consulting veterinarian for Tokitae, tells King 5 News:

“I’d like her to live out the rest of her life in her home. The place she’s called home for 50 years, the place she knows best. She’s not stressed. She’s contented in that pool. I know that well, very well. I’ve known her for 30 years. She wouldn’t have lived this long if it was horrible conditions, as people are saying.”

But the enclosure where Toki has been living has been condemned, and current staff and trainers who work at the facility want to see her make the move to the West Coast.

What do you think? Is the move from Florida to Washington going to be too stressful? Should Toki spend the rest of her life in the environment that she is familiar with? Or should she be relocated to the waters where she was captured in 1970? Feel free to comment below.

Continue reading: 16-year-old, blind, toothless dog running out of time at crowded shelter

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Really? Man decides that 50 years of a home is a bad thing for this animal. Interesting that, in moving an elderly person out of their decades-old home to the light, airy, caring old folks home DIE within months. MAN knows so little when HE makes a ” helpful ” decision. Watch Toki die.

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    • How was the purchaser of Miami Seaquarium allowed to stop continuance of the proper care and maintenance of Toki’s home for 50 years? I can see how much easier it will be to just ship her back to the west coast waters and let her learn how to take care of herself or die. But, after FIFTY YEARS in her current home, is that fair? Why aren’t they forced to provide her with a clean, safe home right there where she has been living for 50 years, including the proper care and attention she deserves?

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    • Have you seen the small concrete tank she has lived in for all these years?! She should never have been taken from her family and true home as she and many were taken violently all those years ago. This will be a slow introduction to freedom. They are not going to just release her. She may very well reunite with some of her family and eventually swim freely as she should have since birth. Shameful she has been forced to « entertain » humans her entire life when she could have been freely enjoying life and entertaining herself and her pod.

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      • Thank you for seeing the real truth in this and for stating it so clearly. Sure there are risks, as there are in everything in life, but Toki deserves a chance to go home.

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      • You are so right sir …..plus, she has been in “ solitary confinement” with no other Orca’s to communicate with or interact with. This has been animal abuse for 50 years ! I have read that some dolphins have been so stressed and suffered mental illness that they have committed suicide, by slamming their heads into the steel doors ! This is unconscionable!

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      • If she dies when they get her to Puget Sound after being in the ocean, she will die where she was born and where she is free to swim in something bigger than a bathtub! She will be back home in the ocean where she belongs and if she dies all well and good. The pool she’s in is no home for any killer whale. These places need to be shut down everywhere!

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        • Free her already! Alone in a bathyub is NO home … its jail and is horrible … she deserves to be in the ocean again just like Kiska did but she died in the hellhole called Marineland and never had the chance. I don’t, for one second, believe she is ‘happy’ in captivity!!!

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  2. She should never have been stolen in the first place! A small concrete tub enclosure is not a home. Whales live in the ocean! Return her home! She deserves to die in the place she was born! Remove man from the equation! Let Tokitae go home and be free no matter how long it is! Let her die free!

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  3. According to this logic, even a man who has been in prison for 50 years should not be released, because this is his home to which he is accustomed

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  4. A small constrained cement pool in hot weather by herself is about the farthest thing from how orcas evolved to live. They are meant to live in a pod, travel some, and hunt/fish together. Orcas have language and culture they teach their young, which varies from group to group. They are highly intelligent and social. Keeping one orca in a tiny pool does not meet its baseline species normal behavioral needs. The place she would be going is a cove with human presence and feeding but with access to the sound. She will be able to come & go as she re-acclimates herself to orca life & environment, and support of whatever level necessary will be provided through her end of life, a commitment of decades. There are enough orcas in the area that she may join a pod which may include her own family members.

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  5. If her home is closing she won’t be there anymore anyway, that’s sad. But will she be a loner, or attacked by others in the wild? Perhaps a better, bigger aquarium is appropriate for this particular girl?

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  6. I call BS on Renner and the staff! Obviously the staff care more about their income, than the care of the incarcerated creatures! They need locking up for 50 years and see how they like it?!!!!!!
    By the way…. how many trainers have lost their lives to enclosed Orca attacks? 4-5 at least! It has never happened in the wild…. yet!
    Toki may not survive the transition, but she will taste freedom from a concrete pen!
    All animal circuses should be banned… Sanctuaries are more compassionate… simple as!!!

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  7. Freedom is priceless. The choice should be hers to make, but we took that away from her decades ago. We should return the freedom we stole though we sadly cannot return the years.

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  8. I don’t know who these people think they are where they can just go and take baby whales from there home, families and pods, just makes me sick. My heart breaks for the babies and everything they have gone through like Toki did, I can’t even imagine how how she felt. 50 years in a tank made of concrete, hot sun all day, terrible food, no natural place that even compares to the ocean!! I am happy she is finally going home, such a shame it didn’t happen sooner. All these aquariums need to shutdown and all the animals put in sanctuaries, I am rooting for you Toki.

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  9. I agree with all of these comments. This Orca should have been left in the wild. Totally not acceptable in 2023 to keep this poor girl in these conditions. Shame on anyone who takes a wild creature from the sea or anywhere else, and imprisons it – just disgusting!!

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  10. Tokitae does NOT deserve to die in her cement prison. She commited no crime and made some people LOTS of money. She deserves freedom. SEND HER HOME. ❤

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  11. The whale deserves to go back to the ocean where she was born and lived until being kidnapped by humans and forced to learn stupid tricks to entertain the public. Living in a tank for the rest of her days is beyond cruel. Better she live free in a ocean pen then suffer one more day in a concrete tank. She isn’t going to die in the ocean pen. There will be people feeding her and teaching her how to hunt too. And she isn’t going to be released, but she can at least hear other whales communicating and re-learn what it’s like to be mostly free. Anybody that wants this whale to stay in FL in a tiny fish bowl should be throw in prison for the rest of their days and see how they like it.

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  12. She should have never been stolen to begin with. This veterinarian thinks she is happy swimming in circles and eating frozen fish in a tank that is no suitable for her size, he’s crazy!!! Release her back to her real home.

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  13. The “professionals” say it is her home but no one should have to call such an awful place their home. She was born free and should die free and not in a tank that for me would be like living in a small closet.

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  14. Absolutely be returned to the home she was stolen from! If a fast safe transit can be arranged soon that should be the outcome! The sooner the better so Tokitae can live out the rest of her life in the sea and hopefully with some company and communication. While she cannot get her 50 years of freedom and natural living back at least she could enjoy many happier more comfortable years as Orcas can live up to 80 0r 90.Best of luck Tokitae we will be watching!

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  15. Even if she is only free for 5 minutes and dies it’s FREEDOM! Toki/Lolita should have been freed years ago! I’ve worried she would end up like Tony the tiger and die in her prison. While some people claim Keiko died after failing to adapt to being free he died free! He gained 2,000 pounds, learned to eat live fish and swam free. He spent a year with other wild orca’s but he was afraid of them. He didn’t know their language, maybe it wasn’t his pod. Lolita needs to learn the language of the pod before she joins any pod. Orca pods have their own language different from others. They also need to collect DNA from other orca pods and try to find her pod then record their language and play it for her. They collect orca DNA so finding her real pod should be easy. Daughters stay with their mothers forever so even though it’s been decades the DNA markers are still there!

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  16. The Seaquarium is not a home it is her prison. It is a tiny swimming pool. She must be released back to her true home the free ocean where she was stolen from.

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  17. I would agree 💯 percent the orca needs to go back into the ocean 🌊 can’t image what she must have felt when she was taken away from her family her mom dad brothers sisters etc if she is not going to be stressed out about being or getting transferred to Florida to go back into the ocean 🌊 than so be it. I love orcas and they get cared for very well orcas are not 🚫 being hurt or anything but if they have a way to take her back home that would be great.

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  18. I love orcas I would hope and pray 🙏 that one day that all orcas can be released back into the ocean 🌊 where they were before they were caught and put in a little pool to perform for people.

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  19. I do believe that it is the right thing and right move to move toki across the west coast and release her into the wild and Yes she will have to get used to it it’s bigger and it’s not a tiny little swimming pool pod it breaks my heart knowing that this sweet 💞 toki was stolen from her home 🏡 and her family and for what? 50 years that’s a really long time to not be around any other orcas she prot doesn’t realize that there is other orcas out there let alone her family her mother she needs to find her mother so she can bond with her mother again but if it is going to to be stressful for her then I wouldn’t travel across the west coast with Tiko, anyways I am not sure as to why anyone would take any orca whale 🐳 and put them in a pond where an orca can only swim back and fourth and then performs everyday for tons of people that is still not a life I have seen an orca show where the jump out and then splash the audience if you are really close it’s really cool 🆒 but I still don’t like them being in a prison like pond and not being free 🆓 like other orcas are in the ocean so hopefully they will definitely decide what to do and do the right thing which is to simply do what will not stress out Tiko anymore than she already is but if she’s happy 😊 that she is in the pond and swimming like a orca than I would just let her be.

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