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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


FaolanG t1_j8a38gh wrote

Eh it isn’t too bad but the June gloom thing is real, especially up north. Just have good gear and you’ll be fine. Everyone makes fun of how we all wear hardcore outdoor brands up here but gear opens this region up to be enjoyable year round.

Example: we skied this morning and now to mtb. I’m two months we get the option for the coveted three sport day: ski, mtb, kite or whatever your pleasure is!


FaolanG t1_j84ommb wrote

That’s about right for here. The only thing to remember is that WA is very wet, so the 35 doesn’t always feel like 35, even up north it can feel a lot colder and it’s important to have good rain gear in case, especially in May/June.

Everyone has mentioned the northern part of the state, but this picture is from the southern part of WA (this river enters the Columbia which is the border between WA and OR). If you’re time limited I recommend the norther part of the state as well, but if you like to mtb our area is amazing and we have Bend not to far.

White Salmon is known to be “where the sunshine meets the rain.” Our town is green and looks like everything that is Cascades west in the state, but a ten minute drive east and the entire environment changes to the eastern parts high desert/arid vibe with tans and browns. The Gorge is a deep scar through plains that roll all the way to Idaho and there are tons of areas beautiful in their own, different flavor from the west. It’s rad because almost anytime if the rain is getting to me I can drive east and boom, here comes the sun baby :).


FaolanG t1_j84n90h wrote

This is in the Columbia River Gorge which is in the southern part of the state and the river is the border between WA and OR. There are tons of large waterfalls along the Gorge and they’re easy to get to straight from 84 (highway) if you’re on a road trip! My Hood is also very close and from Hood River OR (not far from where this is taken you’ll have views of that mountain and My Adam’s.

Mt St Helen’s is amazing and has a great visitors center which is cool to see what the mountain looked like before it erupted, after the erupted and the recovery of the environment. It’ll blow your mind (pun intended) how massive the mountain still is.

I am from The Gorge but even I have to admit that the crowning jewel of Cascadia and the region is the Salish Sea area of which a large part is the Puget Sound. Even driving to Seattle, Rainier is a sight to behold and one of the largest mountains in the lower 48. The waters of the Sound are beautifully blue in the summer and an incredible contrast to the always green forests and snow capped mountain ranges on either side. Even in Everett WA you can see the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges on a clear day and it is incredible. Going north to Deception Pass on Whidby is gorgeous and easily accessible. There are ferries all over the sound that’ll take you to the peninsula where the Olympics are, or the many islands.

There is a ton to see here. I didn’t even get into the eastern part of the state which has a beauty all its own and is more high desert in appearance. Happy to answer any questions.


FaolanG t1_j84lzjb wrote

Nah we are still super green and we’ve had great snow this year so that bodes pretty well for rolling into the dryer months later :). It’s likely they mean spring when the deciduous trees become green again, or even the green coloration of the water as it moves faster in spring and becomes even more of a kayakers paradise.


FaolanG t1_j84lduc wrote

The person who did this is cool and did it because people were trashing the area and didn’t know what they were getting into with the surges in the river and the deep, fast moving water. Scenes like this are common on the Little White Salmon and the Gorge in general so there is no need to disrespect the people who live here or endanger yourself by trespassing.

The Gorge scenic area offers many parks and places for incredible views, all we ask is that you don’t leave trash, respect our home, and are kind to those you come in contact with.

Source: I live less than two miles from this river and am originally from The Gorge/ Southern WA. We love people enjoying our home in a respectful, conservation focused manner.