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Lolita the killer whale no longer has to perform, say Seaquarium's new owners

Lolita the killer whale lays on a park of her tank that is raised out of the water. The whale is black with a white underside. A woman trainer stands next to Lolita. She is bent over and touching the whale's face.
Nuri Vallbona
Lolita the killer whale, also known as Tokitae or Toki, during a performance at the Miami Seaquarium in 1995. The whale has lived in the same small tank for 51 years.

The shows are over for Lolita the killer whale.

After five decades as the iconic star at Miami Seaquarium, the 7,000-pound orca (also known as Tokitae or Toki) will no longer perform daring dives, splash spectators or serve as mascot for the marine park on Virginia Key, according to the federal agency that oversees animal attractions.

Lolita — the focus of a decades-long campaign by animal rights activists who have advocated to return the orca to the Pacific Ocean waters where she was captured in 1970 — has not been doing regular twice-daily shows for months, since the stadium where she lives in a 20-foot-deep tank was closed for repairs ordered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which cited numerous maintenance, water quality and animal welfare problems during an inspection of Seaquarium last summer.

Read more from our news partners at the Miami Herald.

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