Animal Writes
7 March 1999 Issue

Lolita - Spirit of The Water

Lolita the captive orca deserves the chance to rejoin her family still living there.
The political, economic and social conditions that have kept Lolita in a display
tank in Miami for 28 years are now changing in a direction that is favorable to
her chances to go home.

Recent scientific knowledge and the example of Keiko tell us that there is no
real risk involved in returning Lolita to her home waters, but there is huge risk
in keeping her captive. Lolita shows incredible strength and courage and
remains in good health and fully capable of making the transition to her native
habitat. There is much you can do to help make that trip home a reality for

Please send any ideas or news to [email protected]

Now for the latest news and coming events in the Lolita campaign:

2) Lolita on TV across the US (Miami 3/6, 3 pm WSVN-7; Seattle 3/13, 4 pm
3) Lolita benefit in Coupeville
4) Wild orcas approach Keiko
5) Vet says Keiko is just fine, thanks
6) Some notable quotes

1) On Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9th, from Noon to 1 PM, you are all invited
to join the MOTHER'S DAY DEMO in front of the Seaquarium. We need a
strong turnout to let the world know that Lolita needs and deserves to return to
her home waters, that her family will in all likelihood recognize her and welcome
her back, and that Lolita herself could have a calf or two in the next few years,
if returned home.

The demo will be a non-disruptive, completely legal assembly of people on the
lawn beside the road. There will be signs, banners, kids in orca costumes,
music, poetry, and who knows what will be added by Mother's Day. We are
appealing especially to mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and kids.
Karen Munro (wife of Washington Sec. of State Ralph Munro), who has never
before joined a public demonstration, has confirmed that she will be there.
We will gather before the event about a half mile from the Seaquarium at a
bayside site, and have a picnic with music afterwards. Please spread the word.

At this point the Lolita campaign is not financially supported by any large organ-
izations or funding sources. We are appealing for your help to provide printing
and mailing costs and to purchase newspaper ads to publicize this event. The
timing of this Mother's Day Demo is critical, and the campaign needs financial
help to make it a resounding success. The Tokitae Foundation is a 501 c 3
non-profit organization. The address is:
920 Meridian Ave. #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139.

2) The powerful one-hour documentary "Lolita - Spirit in the Water" is now
playing all over the US, and is scheduled to appear in 130 markets. It will play
in Seattle 3/13, 4 pm KOMO-4; Miami 3/6, 3 pm WSVN-7. It seems to be
primarily on Fox stations, so you may be able to find out by checking with your
local Fox network station. Each city has the option to show the video twice,
so a little public pressure can probably accomplish that.

3) Many thanks to all who joined in and helped with the Lolita benefit events
at the Captain Whidbey Inn in Coupeville on January 31. Secretary of State and
Mrs. Munro were there along with fellow Tokitae board member Kelley Balcomb-
Bartok and a room full of friends of Lolita. Special thanks to Jan, Lynn and
Sea Raven from Port Townsend, who performed Lynn's song for Tokitae at the

4) On 2/24/99 a pod of killer whales was reported approaching
Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, where Keiko is in a bay pen. The big question is:
What will Keiko do when he hears wild whales for the first time since 1979?

5) On January 24th Dr. Lanny Cornell, Keiko's veterinarian, told the Whales
Alive conference in Maui that Keiko was perfectly healthy and physically
ready to rejoin his wild counterparts.

6) Here are some relevant quotes:

"The eyes of the world are on this community, we must rise to the occasion
and do the right thing".... Miami-Dade County Executive Mayor Alex Penelas
(about saving the Tequesta Circle, a mysterious recent archeological
discovery threatened with destruction to build a condo).

"I've heard people say saving the circle is like another Free Willy campaign"
....Miami City Mayor Joe Carollo

"Aquariums, particularly marine mammal circus acts, are bound to disappear
as the public is educated and revolts against it."....Jean-Michel Cousteau

And finally, from the March 1, 1999 Portland Oregonian:
"This entire Icelandic adventure -- the one critics said could harm or even
kill the 21- or 22-year-old whale -- seems, instead, to agree with him."...
"The [Free Willy/Keiko] foundation's mission, particularly as it anticipates
merging with Jean-Michel Cousteau's environmental foundation this year,
evolves at a rapid rate. Still, Keiko and the possibility of release this
summer or next come first."

Howard Garrett
Tokitae Foundation
Lolita Campaign Coordinator
(305) 672-4039
[email protected]

For more on Lolita, and to hear her family and see a video of Lolita in her tank,
check out the NEW Free Lolita web site at: 
and for a campaign overview, see the Lolita Come Home Page:
A Review of the Releasability of Long Term Captive Orcas is at:


Go on to National Survey Done by US Fish and Wildlife Service
Return to 7 March 1999 Issue
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