Lolita to be cremated and brought back home to Pacific Northwest, sources say

MIAMI – The remains of Lolita will be cremated and soon be delivered back to her home in the Pacific Northwest, sources told Local 10 News on Thursday.

It’s the same place where she was captured from her family and forced into captivity nearly 53 years ago.

The orca, also known by her Lummi tribal name “Tokitae” or “Toki,” died last Friday from what Miami Seaquarium officials described as a renal condition.

Since then, her remains have been at the University of Georgia.

It’s where sources close to the caretaking of those remains say scientists have been working on her necropsy or autopsy to find out the mammal’s exact cause of death before its cremation.

“Her ashes will be returned to Lummi Nation Territory. They will follow steps, protocols, indigenous protocols just for the spiritual burial ceremony,” said Alejandro Dintino, an animal activist.

Dintino was part of the efforts to plan Toki’s return to the Pacific Northwest where volunteers hoped she would live the rest of her life in a sea-pen near her pod. He says it’s now up to them to keep her legacy alive.

“I want a law that brings her name. We’re going to keep her legacy alive and we will not see this anymore,” Dintino said.

Many animal advocates now hope Lolita’s death helps free the Seaquarium’s last remaining dolphin and Corky, who is still listed as a tourist attraction by SeaWorld in San Diego, California.

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.