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Free Lolita Update 31

Lolita Update #31
May 1, 2001



Dear Friends of Lolita,

IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER MOTHER'S DAY DEMONSTRATION AT THE MIAMI SEAQUARIUM!

At Noon on Sunday, May 13, all are invited to meet at the Seaquarium to let Miami know that Lolita needs to come home to her family in Washington, and that she can be safely relocated in her home waters.

We urge all of you in the Miami area, or those able to travel there, to please join us for a peaceful, lawful demonstration beside the front entrance of the Seaquarium. This will be the third annual demonstration at the Sequarium. Karen Munro, wife of former Washington Sec. of State Ralph, encouraged us to have this demo and planned to attend, but unfortunately got tangled between a horse and carriage and won't be able to join us. So let this demo be for Lolita and for Karen Munro, who we know will be there in spirit.

IF YOU CAN'T BE THERE IN PERSON, JOIN THE CHORUS BY SENDING A MOTHER'S DAY CARD OR LETTER IN LOLITA'S HONOR To:
The Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway - Miami, Florida 33149-1095. Tel. (305) 361-5705 - Fax (305) 361-6077.

Mother's Day is appropriate for a letter to the Seaquarium, because Lolita's natural place is beside her mother, who is probably still living. She should have the chance to have young ones of her own as well, to help her family, the Southern Resident community, to rebound after losing many members in the past six years.

But since chances are there won't be any announcement from the Seaquarium about the volume of letters for Lolita, please cc your letter to:
Tom Fiedler, Editorial pages editor of the Miami Herald, at HeraldEd@herald.com

Let Mr. Fiedler and his readers know there are many of us who believe strongly that Lolita, aka Tokitae, has a right to be home with her family, and that she is fully capable of making the transition back to her home waters. Lolita has performed daily for over 30 years - it's time to let her retire. Give Lolita the chance to reunite with her family in the wild, or at least the option of a long term residence in a baypen or a netted off bay in her home waters, much like Keiko's present accomodations in Iceland. This may help the people of Miami understand that it is indeed possible to transport Lolita back home safely, and that in fact, it is staying in Miami that is not safe for her. We thank you, and Lolita would thank you I'm sure. While you're emailing, please cc us at howard@orcanetwork.org

If you can come to Miami, please email tokitae@pugetsound.net, or call (360) 678-3451.

The Everett Herald has a story on Lolita and the Mother's Day demonstration in today's edition.

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At last report things are still quiet in Iceland as the crew waits for better weather to embark on what may be Keiko's final ocean walk. Any day now they plan to accompany Keiko across the North Atlantic if necessary to find his family. Last summer he met up with wild orcas on fifteen occasions, often swimming along with them for several minutes, then peeling off to go explore more ocean. Those orcas were apparently not his immediate family, but chances are he'll find them sometime this summer. We're all eagerly awaiting their joyful reunion!

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WE NEED VOLUNTEERS THIS WEEKEND - For those of you in the Seattle area, please join us May 4th - 6th at the Best of the Northwest Art Show, at Seattle's Sand Point/Magnusen Park. The organizers of the show have invited Orca Conservancy to have a booth at the show, along with Orcalab's "Freedom Bus", which is adorned with beautiful color murals of Lolita and Corky. We'll be able to share Lolita's story with a huge crowd, and educate people about the wonders of the orcas of Puget Sound. If you live in or near the area, and would like to volunteer to help us booth sit or sell drinks, please contact us via email (susanb@whidbey.net) or phone (360-678-3451) - thanks!

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The petition to list the Southern Resident community (Webmaster Note: Links now dead), Lolita's family, under the Endangered Species Act was in the news today. The petition advocates "the release and reintroduction of captive whales taken from this population." That means Lolita of course, because she's the last surviving captive from her family.

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The Orca Network Sightings Network on Whidbey Island has shown that Southern community orcas are around Whidbey Island and Puget Sound a lot more than people expected. On New Year's Day all three pods gathered for a "superpod" greeting for several hours. Hundreds of residents and all the regional research organizations are learning much more about the winter and spring travels of orcas and gray whales from the Sightings Network. Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure of kayaking in Saratoga Passage in front of Orca Network's headquarters, while Lolita's extended family swam by in the distance. The best news is that many recent sightings have included stories of orcas munching on abundant salmon runs.





Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!


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