Subject: Keiko

Kim Marshall (
Mon, 25 Oct 1999 17:37:45 -0400

>Question:  The article =AEMDBO=AFCampaign Hopes to 'Free Willy'in
>mid-2000=AEMDNM=AF by Belinda Goldsmith which appeared on September 22, 199=
>in Reuters Entertainment caused me concern.  While searching the web for
>information on Keiko, I found your name.
>I would very much like to see Keiko set free. I applaud the work that has
>been done for Keiko.  I'm not convinced that he is ready. If the trainors
>had been able to teach him to catch live fish in the hopes of rekindling
>his long lost instinct for the wild, I wouldn't be so concerned.  He has
>lost his agreession and wild orcas might reject and even attack him.
>According to the article, Keiko is still being fed dead herring.  The
>attempts to feed him live fish have failed.  Hallur Hallsson of the Ocean
>Futures Society said "we want to gradually introduce him back into the
>wild but the best thing would be if Keiko just swam off".  He also
>believes that "once he is in the wild, Keiko's instincts will come back
>and he will hunt".  According to Gisli Vikingsson, a biologist at
>Iceland's Marine Research Institute, said "killer whales needed several
>years to learn survival skills within their own family group:
>I fear Keiko does not stand a very good chance of surviving in the wild
>without human intervention"  It was my understanding that Keiko would be
>looked after if he couldn't look after himself.  Is this no longer
>possible, and if not, why  not.  Keiko did not bring this problem upon
>himself, man's interference caused this problem.                .
>Children around the world will never forgive the people responsible for
>setting Keiko free if he does not survive.  Keiko has the attention of the
>world.  In Canada, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans denied
>Marineland's application to capture Beluga whales for display.  The
>Minister is going to review their policies on marine mammals. Keiko is
>helping marine mammals.

Reply:  Dear Kathy, please contact the International Fund for Animal
Welfare at 508.744.2076 or visit their website at to find out
more about what is happening with Keiko right now.  I believe they are
participating in studies with Keiko and if they are not they will be able
to direct you to who is.  Thank you for your concern! Kim

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance
191 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
(781) 259-0423
fax: 259-0288