Recently, The Dolphin Company and Friends of Toki released a press statement with updates on their plans for Toki. It was a puff piece and over the next week Truth4Toki is going to break it down for you, ask the questions and give you the facts.
The Press Release
“Returning Lolita to her home waters does not mean releasing her into the open ocean. She is expected to remain under human care, in a protected habitat, for the rest of her life. Lolita will continue to receive enrichment, high-quality nutrition, medical care and love, all according to the approved plans by federal authorities.”
View the whole press release here.
Finally, The Dolphin Company and Friends of Toki have realized that Toki is not a candidate for release into the wild. This gives us hope that Toki’s current health is driving realistic assessments for her future rather than the fantasy that portrayed at the original press conference.
Notice the use of the term “protected habitat”. A “protected habitat” may not be a sea pen. The use of this term indicates there are numerous options being explored.
They now say that Toki is going to remain under human care; so there will be no “swimming off into the sunset with her family” as some might have hoped.
If she will never be “free,” the focus should be on providing her the best care and treatment options for a continued long life. Truth4Toki fully supports this view point; we may disagree on what those “best care options” are, but we are aligned in wanting her to have a good, long life.
If the plan is no longer to try to reintroduce her to her pod, then why are we risking her life to transport her across the country, to a sea pen in Washington, where she will still remain under human care? And why are we risking a fragile ecosystem full of endangered species to place her there?
There is also another admission that any plans must be approved by federal authorities. Any statement that Lolita is going to “X” or “Y” is nothing more than a hopeful plan until approval is obtained. To our knowledge no permit applications have been filed. The MMPA and ESA provide strict guidelines on plan approvals.
You can find our Change.org petition here.