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FaolanG t1_jedattn wrote

I want to dispel some rumors for people who can’t seem to be arsed to read the article because this is really uplifting news:

  • She is not being released directly into the wild. They have a plan to move her to a sea pen with two dolphins she currently shared captivity with.

  • She will have training in how to “orca” again to work toward a successful release. This will be monitored and she won’t be released prematurely.

  • This project has funding for longevity and success and could become a great model to this type of effort, it deserves our support. They’ve also said while her release is the goal, they won’t do so if she doesn’t have a good chance at survival AND reintegration.

  • The effort to free Tokitae is not a new one nor is it playing on some trend. There was a documentary made about her abhorrent conditions in 2003 and the Lummi Tribe was working to get her free well before that. It’s been ongoing and hard fought.

  • She deserves to leave her 20ft deep pool in Florida behind for the ocean, even if she spends the rest of her days in the sea pen it will be much better for her physical and mental health.

This is a good thing. This is uplifting. This bodes well for future efforts.


EasternMotors t1_jeeccog wrote

I just wish there was a way to make Sea World pay the $15-20mm.


FaolanG t1_jeg0a1y wrote

Seriously! I really would love to see a world in which we could change the model they utilize and see a large effort to reintroduce these wonderful creatures back into the wild.

There will always be a place for rescues and a shift to large, adequate pens, to rehabilitate them in could be incredible for our understanding of marine life. If there were a camera system where people could view them in a somewhat natural habitat and learn about them I’d love to see that be the future of this sort of industry.

Not only is it better for their health and happiness, but it makes these sort of things so much more accessible for children everywhere and of all backgrounds to learn about sea life and maybe find a passion of their own!


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psykodeth t1_jeewi6f wrote

So this is the Colts new QB? SUPER BOWL INCOMING!


firl t1_jed5n6l wrote

Did it work out well for Keiko ?


Is this a high probable death sentence?


And this is considered uplifting news ?


FaolanG t1_jed9l0h wrote

Did you read the plan outline that accompanied this announcement? They have learned from their mistakes.

The funding for this project well exceeds what we’ve seen in the past and it’s taken a lot of our past failures into account. This is a totally different effort:

-she’ll be relocated to a sea pen where she will have monitoring, veterinary care, and training in how to survive in the wild.

-two of her current co-captives are coming with her to keep her company. Dolphins, but it’ll help with the social aspect which we know is so critical.

-they’ve stated outright that while rerelease is the goal they’ll take her health and longevity into consideration above all else.

It’s easy to be critical of this but at the end of the day this is a huge step in the right direction and an important moment for the Lummi tribe who fought for decades for her release and conservation as a whole. It is undeniably a much better environment for her than her current one, and with no scheduled date of rerelease things can be done with her well-being in mind. I’m from the PNW and she has a lot of support here and should it end up that it isn’t possible to reintegrate her into a pod it’s possible she may be able to live out her days in a sea pen, which again is way better than a 20ft deep pool in Florida.

So yes, this is incredibly uplifting news.


DobieWonKenobi OP t1_jedahh6 wrote

My main quip is they’re doing this after 50 years in captivity and only after retiring her from shows a year ago. They made as much from her as they can. But again, bigger picture is important


FaolanG t1_jedb399 wrote

Yup and that is abhorrent, but that’s a completely different group of people than the ones who have been fighting to see her free for decades. Just because evil people kept her confined in a brutal space for so long doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be committed to her freedom.

I applaud the folks who have fought for this for decades with an iron will and finally saw it happen. It’s a great step for the fight against keeping these creatures in these conditions. If she could be successfully reintegrated it would change how we view the future of a lot of these captive animals.


DobieWonKenobi OP t1_jedbf60 wrote

Agreed whole heartedly. I would drive by pretty regularly when I worked in Miami and there have been protestors outside of that facility pretty much every day for years. The implications of this are huge and I’m thankful that she’ll get at least a morsel of freedom before her time on earth is over.


FaolanG t1_jedcb0z wrote

I saw the documentary about her in high school back in 2004 and it was part of what really kicked me on a path to having a passion against these animals being in captivity.

I hope one day we can be rid of those kinds of places all together. They’re intelligent cohabitants of the planet with us, not toys for entertainment.


DobieWonKenobi OP t1_jee8i69 wrote

You seem like an interesting, informed, and gentle person. I Love you for that!


FaolanG t1_jefzwdj wrote

Thanks, I try! I appreciate you as well!


firl t1_jedb717 wrote

I have. I am glad it's in a sea pen.

I don't wish that she was captured.

After 50 years of learned helplessness, polluted oceans, different immune system responses because of it etc.

I am glad you consider it uplifting.

Since she was captured and not "rescued" different rules apply for consideration of reintegration.

She is older too, so part of me is like, this could be considered similar to being put in a home.

I considered it meh news personally, not great not horrid because they are trying to improve by comparison to the last time.

I appreciate your perspective though.


FaolanG t1_jedbyg1 wrote

I do agree the practice of taking these animals out of their habitat is abhorrent. I also don’t for one moment think the aquarium did this out of the goodness of their hearts. She wasn’t generating revenue anymore and this is great marketing for them.

To your point, her pod is also much smaller than it was, which in and of itself is terribly sad and a direct result of human presence in the Salish Sea.

For me I hate what she went through, but I’m glad the people who have been trying so hard to get her freed were finally successful and she won’t have to live in those barbaric conditions anymore. She’ll get to be in the PNW and the pacific again.

In my tiny heart of hearts I hope for success from this, that it may open a door to continue release efforts on a larger scale. It’s too soon to know, but that would be quite the victory indeed and I’m glad we are striving for it.


DobieWonKenobi OP t1_jed8xbw wrote

Agreed. I think the overarching premise is however. It should bring with it an end to a horrible chapter of animal captivity and with it a clearer path to conservation.


FaolanG t1_jed9v9x wrote

If the reintegration is handled properly, and they’ve said they understand it could take years, it could be a huge argument for other efforts of these wonderful animals in captivity.

This is a huge step in the right direction and a victory for conservation. The right people are supporting it thoughtfully with trained and experienced staff.

It is important to keep fighting this fight. This is uplifting news. I searched before posting it and found your post and I’m glad you shared it. People should know so they can be inspired to support other aligned efforts.