Subject: Info; Orca Free

Michael Williamson (williams)
Mon, 2 Jan 1996 12:45:12

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From: Michael Williamson <>
Subject: Info; Orca Free
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Date: Mon, 1 Jan 96 21:56:00 UTC 0000
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   SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Keiko, a 3 1/2-ton killer whale, escaped to the
wild in the hit movie "Free Willy." In real life, he may not be
so lucky.
   The 15-year-old orca is about a ton underweight and suffers from
a variety of medical problems blamed on his cramped tank at a
Mexico City amusement park. Preparations are underway to move him
to the Oregon Coast Aquarium near Newport on Jan. 7.
   School children in Tampa, Fla., and Salem contributed to the
move, but marine mammal experts warn that even if Keiko survives,
he may never be released to the wild.
   "We don't want a lot of school children to think they've given
their lunch money to set Keiko free," said aquarium spokeswoman
Diane Hammond. "We want people to be clear that Keiko is working
against pretty long odds."
   But Courtney Arendt, a 7-year-old Salem pupil, sees no reason
why real life can't imitate Hollywood. "I feel he should be
released," she said.