The orca Lolita, who had been captive for more than five decades in the American aquarium Miami Seaquarium, died this Friday, the establishment reported on its social networks.
The company detailed that during the last two days, Lolita, also known as Toki, “began to show serious signs of discomfort”, for which “the veterinary team began treatment immediately.”
“Despite receiving the best possible care, he passed away on Friday afternoon of what is believed to be a kidney condition,” reads a statement.
“Toki was an inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to hear about her story, and especially to the Lummi Nation, who considered her family. Those who had the privilege of spending time with her will forever remember her beautiful spirit,” they said from the aquarium.
A “historic” plan to release the gigantic mammal in the Northwest Pacific Ocean was revealed in March. The authorities never gave a date for his transfer, but the businessman and philanthropist Jim Irsay, who promised to finance it, assured then that the process could take between 18 and 24 months and cost between 15 and 20 million dollars.
Lolita, who has lived at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970, was captured in the waters of Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest when she was about four years old. During her first decade at the Florida marine park she lived with a male orca, named Hugo, who died of a brain aneurysm in 1980. She has been on her own ever since.
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