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Zoo Logic

Apr 5, 2023

Late last week the zoological world was blindsided by the announcement that the owners of Miami Seaquarium had entered into an agreement with anti-zoo organizations and a wealthy philanthropist from the NFL to return the oldest orca in human care named Lolita (a.k.a. Tokitae) to her original range in the Pacific Northwest.

Against the backdrop of the disastrous results of how Keiko (Free Willy) was returned and died alone at sea over 20 years ago, professionals from all sectors of the zoological, research, and conservation communities, especially those involved with marine mammals, have expressed skepticism and outrage about moving a geriatric, chronically ill and possibly deaf orca, with documented limited ability to adapt to changes in her immediate environment and routines to compromised habitat of the critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. 

Former IMATA and AMMPA president, Billy Hurley and Killing Keiko author and Keiko's former trainer Mark Simmons weigh in on the news and share their historical, scientific, training, political, and welfare concerns about this beloved animal.

Animal Care Software