Subject: Case Study: 2 'Free Willy' star's health que (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 13:14:06 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue,  7 Oct 97 13:51:00 GMT 
Subject: 'Free Willy' star's health que

'Free Willy' star's health questioned

   NEWPORT, Ore., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Oregon Coast Aquarium says the
killer whale who starred in both "Free Willy" movies appears ill and
security guards have seen him butting his head against the side of his
tank at night.
   But The Free Willy Foundation, which owns the whale, says Keiko is
fine. Spokeswoman Diane Hammond says Keiko was treated for a fungal
infection and roundworm last month, and may still have tapeworms in his
system, but he is otherwise in good health.
   But caretakers at the aquarium where he lives say the whale is
listless and distraught. The facility's director says questions about
Keiko's health have been raised by caretakers and visitors in the past
few weeks.
   Meanwhile, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board has launched
an investigation to determine whether the present arrangement between
the aquarium and the whale's owners is legal under state veterinary
practice standards.
   The staff at the Oregon Coast Aquarium says it has not been privy to
Keiko's medical condition since The Free Willy Foundation took over the
whale's care in July.
   The whale's owners are planning to release Keiko into the ocean
sometime next year. The aquarium's staff says the whale won't survive if
he is released into the wild in his present condition.
   The Free Willy Foundation has scheduled a press conference for