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.
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