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Free Willy …or Lolita

Lolita is a killer whale. Also known by her Coast Salish name, Tokitae, she is the only survivor of seven endangered southern resident killer whales captured in 1970 off Whidbey Island. Since then, she’s been living at the Miami Seaquarium.

The Orca Network is currently leading a campaign to retire Lolita, remove her from her small performance pool in Miami, and return her to a net pen in her home waters. This would allow her to hear the voices of her family. To date, the aquarium owners have not agreed.

Tara Melendez, a knitting pattern designer and Orca Network supporter, has designed the pattern for the above mittens which depict Lolita.  People wearing the mittens will help to raise awareness.   “This pattern is my tribute to her tremendous spirit and the hope that, one day, she may be reunited with her family,” says Melendez. 

Do you want to help?  Here’s how:

  1. Buy a pair of mittens from the Orca Network.  Proceeds go toward the Lolita/Tokitae campaign.
  2. Download the pattern from Ravelry, and knit yourself a pair of Lolita mittens. 
  3. Knit another pair of mittens, and donate them to the Orca Network to be sold as part of the fundraiser.

4 responses »

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  4. FYI, tonight we learned that the Washington State Transporation Commission named one of two new ferries the Tokitae! What a great way to bring awareness to Tokitae//Lolita’s situation and the plan to bring her home to a sea pen in the San Juans! Just blogged about this and am spreading the cheer to others blogging about her as well.


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