“I still have hope given our current direction that one day, with education and support, killer whales in captivity will be a thing of the past.” …. so do I!!
By Samantha Booras
When the movie “Free Willy” came out almost 21 years ago, somehow the story about the unlikely friendship between a 12-year-old boy and a three ton orca resonated with millions. Despite being a killer whale, Willy’s isolation, moodiness and homesickness due to being held in captivity and separated from his family incited an enormous amount of empathy. Although Willy was freed by the end of the movie, Keiko, the orca who played him, was still very much in captivity. When the public learned that Keiko was being held in captivity, living in a small, warm enclosure, breathing polluted air, they were outraged. Keiko was isolated, about a thousand pounds underweight and had a deteriorating skin condition due to his environment; in effect, he was slowly dying. Unwilling to accept this, millions of children and their parents led a campaign to return Keiko to the…
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