Penn Cove Orca Capture Commemoration August 6th, 2023
53 years ago, over 100 Southern Resident orcas were herded into Penn Cove off Whidbey Island, Washington. Seven of the young whales were netted and delivered to marine parks around the world. All but one had died by 1987. Originally named Tokitae, she was sold to Miami Seaquarium and her name was changed to Lolita. Her honorary name given by the Lummi Nation is Sk'aliChehl-tenaut. Following an historic announcement in March, efforts are now underway to return her to a seapen in her home waters (www.friendsoftoki.org). Howard Garrett reports: “Toki swims speed laps in the 80’ x 50’ x 20’ deep, dilapidated pool. She is remarkably attentive and engaged with everyone around her. She continues calling out in the unique dialect she learned before capture. Her 5 veterinarians agree she is in good health and is ready now to be transported back to her native habitat, where she’ll continue healing from the stresses of over five decades of confinement that began with that traumatic capture in Penn Cove.” In memory of the nearly 40 Southern Resident orcas captured in Washington State in the 1960s and 1970s, and the dozen that died during capture operations, and in honor and celebration of Tokitae the sole survivor, please join Orca Network on Sunday August 6th for the 53rd anniversary of the 1970 Penn Cove orca capture. From 1:30 to 3:30 PM join us at the Coupeville Wharf for educational displays and information about the orca captures, and special guest presentations including Howard Garrett, Board President of Orca Network and Sandra Pollard, author of Puget Sound Whales for Sale and A Puget Sound Orca in Captivity. Following the program will be a waterside ceremony and remembrance for the orcas killed during the captures. From 3:30 to 5:30 the Cutty Sark and the Suva will provide ceremonial boat trips into Penn Cove to the capture site. Tickets for the boat trips are available for a $75 donation, and registration is available at https://www.orcanetwork.org/events/penn-cove-orca-capture-commemoration…. We will provide flowers and cedar sprigs, or you may bring your own eco-friendly offering to toss in the water during the ceremony. If you have your own boat or kayak, please join us in Penn Cove for a procession to the capture site as we honor Tokitae and her family members who were captured in 1970. The events on the Wharf are free to the public, though contributions to support Orca Network's educational programs and efforts on orca captivity issues are appreciated. Registration for the boat trip on the Cutty Sark or Suva is available on the Orca Network website at https://www.orcanetwork.org/events/penn-cove-orcacapture-commemoration-…. For questions, please contact Cindy Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.