Cantwell Statement on Return of Southern Resident Orca Whale Toki’s Remains

SEATTLE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), released this statement regarding the effort to return the remains of Tokitae, also known as Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut, to the Pacific Northwest. The last surviving Southern resident killer whale in captivity, Toki died at the Miami Seaquarium on Friday afternoon.

“Toki’s remains should return to the Pacific Northwest. My office has been in communication with the Administration to urge them to work with Tribes to ensure their voices are heard and ceremonial rights are protected,” said Sen. Cantwell.

Yesterday, after Toki’s death was announced, Sen. Cantwell released this statement:

“I am so very saddened to hear of Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut’s passing today. Toki should have spent her years with her family in Puget Sound, and it is wrong that she was not able to return decades ago. Even from thousands of miles away, her story inspired many to strive to recover iconic orca populations and preserve Puget Sound and wild salmon.”