Subject: Keiko Weighed/Killer Whale/Orca

Mike Williamson (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:07:32 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Tue, 10 Jun 97 11:46:00 GMT 
Subject: BRF--Keiko Weighed

BRF--Keiko Weighed

   NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) -- Keiko the killer whale now tops the scales
at a healthy 9,580 pounds, nearly a ton more than when he arrived
from Mexico City 16 months ago.
   Veterinarians weighed Keiko, a star of the movie "Free Willy,"
on Thursday and removed a broken tooth. He has gained 1,860 pounds
since he was flown to the Oregon Coast Aquarium last year.
   Keiko was suffering weight loss and a fungus infection in Mexico
City, where he had spent 16 years in a warm saltwater pool at an
amusement park.
   The Free Willy Keiko Foundation, which led efforts to get Keiko
transferred, said last month it would like to put Keiko in a pen in
the North Atlantic, where he was captured, possible as early as
next spring as a preliminary step toward returning him to the wild.
   Others question whether he could survive in the wild after being
raised by humans for nearly all of his life.
   To determine whether Keiko can be released, the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and the University of
California at Santa Cruz will gather data on his hearing,
vocalization, echo location, breathing patterns, blood chemistry
and DNA.