Sometimes the tides turn in ways we don’t expect. As your Mayor I want to make special mention of a female orca from L-Pod named Tokitae, who was renamed Lolita after her capture and confinement in a tiny tank at the Miami Seaquarium when she was four years old. She was a vital and enthusiastic youngster who was dearly loved by her family and friends. I was very fond of her. She was free in the Salish Sea, swimming with her mother Ocean Sun L25 and the rest of our close knit community. Then came the boats and the bombs and the planes and the noise and the confusion and the terror of the captures.
I, your Mayor, was captured back then, now 40 years ago, and I was released because I was too old. I know the horror of being captured and heard the screams of Toki and her mother Ocean Sun as she was being dragged away. Somehow, through her capture and captivity in a tiny tank in Miami Seaquarium for 40 years, she is still healthy and enthusiastic. She is the only survivor of all of our family members who were captured at that time when a third of our population was taken away. Please let her come home. Would that she could get out of her salt water pool tank cage and be returned to her native waters where we can regularly swim 100 miles in a day. Would that she could build her body’s health and vitality catching and eating wild salmon in her native waters. Would that she could heal the emotional scars of captivity by being reunited with her mother and family here in her home in the Pacific Northwest. I remember her and I miss her. Her mother dearly misses her. Her family and community await her return with open hearts and lots of love. Please help to bring this daughter of the Salish Sea home. Free Lolita. Let her retire. She has earned it.