Lolita being captured in Penn Cove, WA 1970 Photo courtesy of Wallie Funk — Penn Cove, Washington

Lolita’s Story from Orcapedia by Paul Watson & Tiffany Humphrey

mark leiren-young
2 min readFeb 7, 2022


Species: Orcinus orca
Breed: Southern Resident
Meaning of name: Spanish for “strong woman” Captivity History: Captured at age 4 from L pod of Southern Residents in Penn Cove, WA
Mother: L25
Siblings: Tsunami
Offspring: No viable offspring
Sex: Female
Weight: 7,500 lbs.
Length: 20 ft.
Tank measurements: 80 ft wide. Horizontal dimension of 35 ft. Depth is 20 ft in the middle and 12 ft around the edges–it is the smallest tank in North America.

Lolita is also referred to as Tokitae, which is Salish for “nice day”. Lolita was housed with another Orca named Hugo, but ever since his death in 1980 Lolita has been alone at the Miami Seaquarium. She is one of the oldest Orcas in captivity. On February 4, 2015, Lolita was officially included in the endangered list- ing of the Southern Resident Orca Distinct Popula- tion Segment (DPS) by NMFS.

1966 est Born

August 8, 1970
Captured in Penn Cove, WA

September 1970
Sold to Miami Seaquarium

Penn Cove Map



mark leiren-young

Whale writer. Author: The Killer Whale Who Changed the World & Orcas Everywhere. Director: The Hundred-Year-Old Whale. Host: Skaana podcast.