NEWS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2004
Susan Berta/Howard Garrett
August 8th Event commemorates 34th Anniversary of Penn Cove Orca Capture
Wyland Humpback Whale Limited Edition Print to be auctioned at Orca Network Benefit
***Photos of Wyland Print & John Stone available upon request
Sunday, August 8, marks the 34th anniversary of the Penn Cove Orca Capture in which "Lolita", an L pod orca whale, was taken from her family and transported to the Miami Seaquarium, where she has been performing daily in a small tank ever since. Lolita is the only survivor of all the Southern Resident orcas captured during the 1960's and 70's. In all, forty five whales were captured and shipped to marine parks around the world. An additional thirteen orcas were killed during capture operations, four or five whales died in Penn Cove during the capture in which Lolita was taken.
Capt. John Colby Stone, proprietor and Innkeeper of the Captain Whidbey Inn, remembers the capture well. All three pods of Southern Resident whales were herded into Penn Cove and penned in near the Captain Whidbey Inn that week in August, 1970. At that time, Capt. Stone's parents owned and ran the Inn. Concerned about the activity of the whalers, Capt. Stone (a college student at the time) took Wally Funk editor/publisher of the Whidbey News-Times out to the scene of the capture. Funk's photos of the capture have become classics, and helped galvanize public opinion against the capture of Orca in the State of Washington.
Stone has been a longtime supporter of the "Free Lolita" campaign, helping with efforts to get Lolita out of the Seaquarium and back home to her pod in Washington for years; offering the use of the Captain Whidbey Inn for Orca Network's annual Lolita/Capture Anniversary event, and donating sails aboard S/V Cutty Sark, his 52' Ketch to help raise funds for the cause. "The capture and incarceration of a sentient creature for the mere pleasure of humans is an anathema to my idea of what it is to be human," Stone said.
This year, Stone, in addition to the cruise is donating a beautiful Wyland Humpback Whale signed and numbered Limited Edition Print for the Lolita event auction. Wyland's limited editions have been enthusiastically collected throughout the United States and forty countries around the world. Today Wyland is recognized as one of the most popular and collected artists of our time. This print, titled "Genesis" was purchased in 1999. Its value has increased every year. The current value is $2,245. Bidding will begin at $1500, and bids will be accepted via email until 9 am on August 8 from those unable to attend the event and auction. The print is in mint condition. Thanks to a donation from the Windjammer Gallery in Coupeville, the print is mounted and shrink-wrapped along with the certificate of authenticity and artist information.
Orca Network invites you to join us in this event to remember and honor the whales that died during the captures and in captivity, and to come learn more about Lolita and the Southern Resident orcas. This year's event features presentations, displays, silent auction, waterside ceremony, gourmet food & no-host bar. A pre-event sail on Penn Cove aboard Captain John Colby Stone's ketch, "Cutty Sark" begins at 1:30 (reservations required), with other activities held from 3 - 6 pm in the Stone Gallery and Gazebo area of the Captain Whidbey Inn.
The Captain Whidbey Inn is located at 2072 W. Capt. Whidbey Inn Road, off Madrona Way 2 1/2 miles northwest of Coupeville, Whidbey Island. Event admission is $15, the Cutty Sark sail is a $20 donation. For reservations or more information, or to bid on the Wyland print, contact Orca Network at 360-678-3451 or E-Mail