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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 12/12/2003 10:02:57 PM EDT
Keiko Passes Away
December 12, 2003
By KOMO Staff & News Services

OSLO, NORWAY - Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the "Free Willy" movies, has died.

His caretakers in Norway say the whale died after the sudden onset of pneumonia in a fjord.

A handler said the disease struck Keiko fairly quickly and that veterinarians had been monitoring its progress.

Free-Willy-Keiko Foundation head David Phillips says it's been a long sad day.

Phillips said Keiko had been in very good health until the day before.


Movie star whale Keiko dies
Associated Press

Oslo — Keiko, the killer whale star of the Free Willy movies has died, his caretakers said early Saturday morning.

The whale, which was 27 years old, died after the sudden onset of pneumonia in the Taknes fjord in Norway on Friday afternoon. His animal-care specialist, Dane Richards, said the disease struck the cetacean fairly quickly.

“He exhibited some signs of lethargy and lack of appetite,” Mr. Richards said early Saturday morning.

Mr. Richards said Keiko's illness was sudden and veterinarians had monitored his progress but the whale died quickly.

“We checked his respiration rate and it was a little irregular...he wasn't doing too well,” he said. “Early in the evening, he passed away.”

Keiko, which means “Lucky One” in Japanese, was rehabilitated at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, then airlifted to Iceland in 1998. His handlers there prepared him for the wild, teaching him to catch live fish in an operation that cost $500,000 (U.S.) a month.

Keiko was released from Iceland in July 2002. He swam straight for Norway on a 1,400-kilometre trek that seemed to some a search for companionship. He turned up near the village Halsa in late August or early September 2002. He allowed fans to pet and play with him, even crawl on his back, becoming such an attraction animal-protection authorities imposed a ban on approaching him.

Nick Braden, a spokesman of the Humane Society of the United States, said veterinarians gave Keiko antibiotics after he showed signs of lethargy but it wasn't apparent how sick he was.

“They really do die quickly and there was nothing we could do,” he said. He called it “a really sad moment” but added that they could believe that they gave the whale “a chance to be in the wild.”

Keiko was captured near Iceland in 1979 and sold to the marine park industry. Keiko's stardom came from the three Free Willy films, in which a young boy befriends a captive killer whale and coaxes him to jump over a sea park wall to freedom.

The $20-million drive to free him was started in 1993, after he was found ailing in a Mexico City aquarium.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 10:09:42 PM EDT
Assassinated by dolphins...yep, damn dolphins.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 12:40:39 AM EDT
sushi anyone?
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 12:42:24 AM EDT
Free Willy, 2 pounds per person.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 1:21:21 AM EDT
They spent a LOT of money on one whale. I did see him at the coast aquaruim a couple times. I for one never did think he would make it in the wild. I think they could have spent all that money better by getting the capitive whales out of bad conditions and getting them into larger somewhat natural enviroments similar to what was done at the coast aqaurium and in doing that it would make alot of captive whates condions better while still allowing people to be incontact with them. Id bet there are plenty of whales out there in bad conditons that could have been helped with that money. but I dont think that kind of effor wolud have got the media hoopla and money support this project did.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 1:25:26 AM EDT
Obviously he didnt get his Government flu shot...
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 2:29:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 2:30:05 AM EDT by sixgunsblazing]
Yes! I for one am happy to see one less stupid whale story on the news. Now there is some damm whale in BC the goverments want to move down to the rest of her pod in Washington. guess who's paying for that??
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 3:19:05 AM EDT
hummmmmmmmmmm..........??????? i wonder what they will do with his teeth ?? when Shamu died, about 35 years ago, a friend was a veternary asst. at San Diego Sea World, he got me one of Shamus teeth, they are pure ivory !!!!!! the rest of him went to feed the other sea creatures at Sea World
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:52:18 AM EDT
Shamu is dead??????
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:49:55 AM EDT
Shamu is like Lassie. There are a bunch of identical jackasses that they use to replace him if one dies.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:54:52 AM EDT
gonna take alot of old tires and diesel to burn that carcass.....................
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:56:27 AM EDT
sushi anyone
View Quote
A killer whale is a mammal… would it still then be sushi? Or do they need a really big barbecue pit?
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 10:59:58 AM EDT
Oh well!
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:06:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Lumpy196: Obviously he didnt get his Government flu shot...
View Quote
Maybe he did....hmmm Dolphin conspiracy no dought....hmmmmm
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:31:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
sushi anyone
View Quote
A killer whale is a mammal… would it still then be sushi? Or do they need a really big barbecue pit?
View Quote
Send the Carcass to Japan, the Jap's will spend top Yen eating him!!! Here is a quick google I found on whale meat! PETA's gotta love this! * Hari-hari-nabe (typical whale cuisine in Osaka) * Sashimi of Onomi (meat from dorsal fin to the tail, which is marbled with fat) * Sashimi of Akami (red meat) * Sashimi of Abura-sunoko (root of flippers where fat and meat forms in striped layers) * Sashimi of Unesu (border of fatty part and meat of accordion-like area of whale's lower jaw to the navel) * Bacon (made of 'Unesu') * Udemono (boiled and sliced innards)
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:36:14 AM EDT
Zaphod fires up the grill...... [:D]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:38:55 AM EDT
Let me get this straight. They released him into the wild, but when he got sick, they gave him antibiotics? Are they doing the same for the other wild whales that get sick? Sounds like a PETA lawsuit just waiting to happen to me. [;D]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 12:04:21 PM EDT
I've always wondered how the parks like Sea World disposed of the Orca carcasses... I guess in this case they just tow it out to sea and leave it.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:37:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
Originally Posted By Max_Mike:
sushi anyone
View Quote
A killer whale is a mammal… would it still then be sushi? Or do they need a really big barbecue pit?
View Quote
Send the Carcass to Japan, the Jap's will spend top Yen eating him!!! Here is a quick google I found on whale meat! PETA's gotta love this! * Hari-hari-nabe (typical whale cuisine in Osaka) * Sashimi of Onomi (meat from dorsal fin to the tail, which is marbled with fat) * Sashimi of Akami (red meat) * Sashimi of Abura-sunoko (root of flippers where fat and meat forms in striped layers) * Sashimi of Unesu (border of fatty part and meat of accordion-like area of whale's lower jaw to the navel) * Bacon (made of 'Unesu') * Udemono (boiled and sliced innards)
View Quote
[b]what no fugu?[/b]
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 11:49:42 PM EDT
he got me one of Shamus teeth, they are pure ivory !!!!!!
View Quote
So are Elk molars... Kill an elk and then rip out the back molars they are ivory. there is even a few places that will make them into jewlery. Ive got a few around somewhere... Just one on the neat things about elk hunting. Not sure about other animals besides the obvious Elephant.
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