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New aquarium owner supports allowing the last captive southern resident orca to return home

A new owner at the Miami Seaquarium says he supports plans to allow the last captive southern resident orca to go home. That’s the word from a conference about the present and future fate of ‘Toki’, as her trainers in Florida call her.

She was taken from Penn Cove off Whidbey Island at around age four, more than 50 years ago. The Lummi, who call her “Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut,” and other activists have been pressing for her release for years. KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp has more about the fate of Toki, also known by her stage name "Lolita."

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.