Dear Friends of Lolita,
We feel responsible for telling you about the ABC 20/20 story on Keiko last Friday night. It turned out to be just the same old cynicism from ten years ago, despite the actual fact that Keiko is now free and fully capable to roam the North Atlantic, and could very well join up with his family any day now.
The intro said:
That tidy ending was Hollywood fiction. The reality has been a costly and, some say, misguided science project, and it's where our story picks up.
No kidding. ABC has not progressed in their thinking in ten years, even though Keiko has proven he is competent to take care of himself in the ocean, something all the park industry and media critics said would be impossible. It's a demonstration of the power of false myth, when it's reinforced at every turn. The true story has almost never been told. ABC said on 20/20: It was an outright rejection of six years of rehabilitation, as if Keiko had never left the amusement park. The $20 million project had failed. Keiko was a tourist attraction again, and, it seemed, would always be a movie whale, not a wild one.
That means don't even think about releasing Lolita or Corky or Kshamenk or any of the other slaves to entertainment. 20/20 says they "disregarded the laws of nature." They said Keiko "He didn't even know how to catch a live fish," although he has caught and eaten live fish ever since they were first offered to him in 1997. Sure, he brought some back to the trainers, because he's a social whale, and that's civilized behavior for an orca.
ABC said releasing Keiko is "about bleeding-heart animal lovers going too far," ignoring the immense leaps in scientific knowledge learned from the fact that Keiko traveled over 1,000 miles across the Atlantic, feeding himself all the way, after 23 years of confinement. That's a fantastic accomplishment and a scientific breakthrough, and it shows what all the other captives are capable of, but nobody is telling that story, so the media knows only what the critics have been saying for ten years.
Dave Philips tried to say that Keiko did not starve on his 1,200-mile swim from Iceland to Norway last summer. But that was followed immediately with "And he's still clinging to his original dream." The whole spin was that releasing an orca is just an animal activist's crazy fantasy, and that's what they heard across America.
Will those who have access to media through their websites, newsletters and other contacts please tell the real story about Keiko? Isn't it long past time to get aggressive about telling the world that Keiko is free? We can debate whether he will continue to seek human companionship, but that's not the issue. The point is he is capable of a life at sea, and has no need for a concrete tank or even a net pen. He can roam the ocean any time he chooses, and so could Lolita, Corky, Kshamenk, and all the other captives. Will somebody please tell that story?
You'll find the most complete and beautifully produced telling of Lolita's story on Lolita - Slave to Entertainment
, a brand new one-hour documentary, and see the unabridged version of Keiko's incredible journey to freedom