Ted Griffin, a professional Orca kidnapper who provided cetacean inmates for several public aquaria, including Tokitae (Lolita) who recently died in Florida Seaquarium after 50 years of captivity, has spoken showing no remorse for his infamous actions. His first kidnap was Namu, a northern resident orca he took for his aquarium on the downtown Seattle waterfront.
In August 1970 he kidnapped the young Tokitae at Penn Cove, Washington State, together with other orcas, some of whom died in the process. Talking about it, Griffin, now 87, said to Seatle Times after the death of Tokitae was announced, “I certainly remember that day…I have no regrets for all the activities… but I am sorry the whales passed away during the capture, and that they are not alive today.” He also spoke about how Tokitae reacted to her kidnapping: “I am not saying she cooperated. But she didn’t fight us the way some whales, that are so skillful, no matter what you do, they won’t come around.”
Griffing’s perversion can still be seen when he revealed that he did not do it just for the money aquaria paid him, but his ambition was to kidnap an orca and keep him or her in his private prison in San Juans, and see how wild orcas would communicate with their captive friend. As far as the project of freeing Tokitae from Florida Seaquarium, a project that was approved but sadly turned out to be too late, he said, “I believe at that point, after that many years in captivity, with good animal husbandry they should stay with it, not change course. I thought she should stay there.” Imagine if someone who abducted a little girl and sold her to someone else who kept her captive for 50 years would have said that after hearing the news of her release.