A newly released necropsy reveals that Lolita — a 57-year-old orca who spent nearly all her life in captivity — died from the progression of multiple chronic illnesses, including pneumonia, kidney degeneration, and a chronic heart condition.
The Miami Herald The necropsy. .
The Orca Network previously told Insider that Lolita had died of acute renal failure in a social media announcement on August 18, a diagnosis later supported by the necropsy.
The necropsy also listed 17 other illnesses in the aging orca, including gastritis, tongue ulcers, and keratitis — an inflammation of the cornea.
The Miami Seaquarium housed Lolita — who went by many names, including Tokitae and Sk’aliCh’elh-tenant by the Lummi Nation— for 50 years. In March, the aquarium announced its plans to release the whale to its native waters in the Pacific Northwest.
“Toki was an inspiration to all who had the fortune to hear her story and especially to the Lummi nation that considered her family,” the aquarium said at the time of her death.
The 5,000-pound orca lived in the world’s smallest orca enclosure — only 80 by 35 feet with a depth of 20 feet.
Representatives for Seaquarium did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.