Orca event set for Wednesday

A spotlight is once again being placed on Lolita, also known as “Tokitae,” as well as the other orcas rounded up and captured in Penn Cove in 1970.

The Orca Network is hosting its annual Penn Cove orca capture commemoration at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Coupeville Wharf.

There will be educational displays about the captures and on Lolita, the only surviving orca from the event. At 3 p.m., a ceremonial boat trip aboard the Suva will take off to the original capture site for a wreath ceremony.Kayakers and boaters are welcome to join the procession. The Suva trip costs $50.

Howard Garrett and Susan Berta, of the Orca Network, will be giving a presentation, and representatives from the Lummi Nation are scheduled to come. There will be light snacks served.

“What we want to do is honor Tokitae and all the orcas who died in the capture,” Cindy Hansen from the Orca Network said. “We want to show that we haven’t forgotten her and want to bring her home to give her a much better life than she has now.”

Hansen said typically 30 to 40 people come to the event.

“I’m looking forward to being with other people who care about Tokitae and the Southern Resident orcas,” she said. “Hopefully we can come together and think positive thoughts for her.”

Someday, Hansen said, she believes Lolita will indeed come home.

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