Lolita | KNKX

Lolita

In this 2015 file photo, protesters demand release of the orca whale some call Lolita, who has been in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium for 50 years.
Wilfredo Lee / The Associated Press (file)

Fifty years ago this week, the killer whale some call Lolita arrived at Miami Seaquarium. She was captured at Penn Cove, in the waters off Whidbey Island, in early August 1970, along with dozens of other young orcas.

Sold for about $20,000, she arrived in Miami on Sept. 23, where she received her stage name and has lived ever since, in an 80-by-35-foot tank. Originally named Tokitae by her trainers, she is the last surviving Southern Resident orca in captivity.

In this file photo from 2006, a young girl watches through the glass as a killer whale passes by while swimming in a display tank at SeaWorld in San Diego. That park ended its controversial and long-running killer whale show in January 2017.
Chris Park / The Associated Press (file)

UPDATE: 10:45 p.m.: This story and its headline have been updated to clarify that the lawsuit will be filed by two individual members of the Lummi Nation, not the tribal goverment.

Native American tribes and first nations from around the region are celebrating their annual canoe journey this weekend. Along with songs, stories and dancing, their five-day gathering at the Lummi Nation, near Bellingham, will include the announcement of a lawsuit from two members of the Lummi Nation to ‘repatriate’ a captive orca.