The remains of the orca Tokitae were returned home to Washington Wednesday, according to the Lummi Nation.
The 57-year-old orca died suddenly on Aug. 18. Before her death there were plans to release the orca back into her home waters before Thanksgiving.
Tokitae, the last southern resident killer whale held in captivity, was captured off Whidbey Island more than 50 years ago.
Her remains arrived at Bellingham International Airport and her ashes will be spread in a private traditional water ceremony.
A public celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
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