From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1994:

A surfacing fin whale probably didn’t inspire the
Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.––but she might
have. She rises from the trench between waves like a glisten-
ing black wall, low at first, easing up out of the water until
her fin breaks the horizon and she looms for a moment as big
in life as in symbol. Then she spouts, arches her back, and
slides out of sight. Her broad tail never breaks the surface.
Just 15 seconds with a wild whale, after a 330-mile
drive and a three-hour cruise, can unforgetably confirm the
mystique of whales. Add to that half an hour of observing the
dolphins who often surf the wakes of whale-watching vessels,
and it’s no surprise that whale-watching draws 1.5 million
people per year in New England alone, pumping $317 million
into the local economy. Globally, says the British-based
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, whale-watching is
now worth more than whale-killing ever was––perhaps even
in Japan, the leading market worldwide for whale meat.

But not everyone lives within even extended driving
distance of a chance to see wild whales. Not everyone
believes such a short glimpse is worth so much trouble––
though the typical whale-watcher sees whales at least as often
and for as long as the typical hunter sees deer. Oceanariums
offer another sort of experience with whales: not the big
plankton-feeding baleen whales, like the fin whale, but
rather the “small” toothed whales, including dolphins, belu-
gas, pilot whales, and orcas, or killer whales.
“Small” is relative. Even dolphins are bigger than
the biggest buck. The average beluga outweighs the biggest
cattle. Orcas are twice that big. Thus it ispossible to experi-
ence the magnitude and majesty of whales at an oceanarium,
even if one isn’t meeting the true Leviathans.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires
sea-going whale-watchers to keep 300 feet
from whales unless the whales surface closer,
but at oceanariums one can watch a beluga
face to face as she stands just inches away,
chirping and gazing back with apparent equal
Are they happy?
Belugas will watch people, seem-
ingly smiling and trying to talk in clicks and
squeaks, for as long as people watch them.
Like humans, they seem to prefer the glass-
walled tanks of newer facilities such as the
Vancouver Aquarium and the Mystic
Aquarium in Connecticut, where they get a
more panoramic view than through the port-
hole-like windows of older tanks such as
those at the New York Aquarium (whose
viewing areas are being expanded). In New
York, the belugas swim in perhaps bored cir-
cles. Marine mammal curator Louis
Garibaldi swears they’re happy and healthy,
and perhaps they are; but at Vancouver and
Mystic, there’s no doubt, as the white
whales provide their own testimony. It’s
easy––and a bit disconcerting––to imagine
that they “see” one’s mind with their sonar.
Dolphins, also often credited with
mind-reading skills they may or may not
have, do not display similar contemplative
interest. While belugas gently bob upright in
the water like floating Buddhas, dolphins are
almost always in speedy motion. Some, like
the 29-year-old female common dolphin who
bosses the two orcas at Vancouver, remain
preoccupied with their own business––in her
case, ruthlessly herding the much bigger
whales, who could eat her at a gulp. The
Vancouver facility consists of three linked
tanks, of varying size and shape. “Go there,”
indicates the dolphin, zipping at either orca if
compliance isn’t prompt, and the orcas go,
like cows harrassed by a yapping dominant
dog, even if the dolphin is temporarily shov-
ing them both into the smallest tank.
If the Vancouver dolphin acts like a
herding dog, other captive dolphins can be as
effusive as pet dogs. Those at Marineland of
Florida, south of Fort Augustine, all but leap
into one’s lap, mugging for close-up photos,
begging to be petted. The three Mystic dol-
phins are somewhere in between, sharing
their tank with two belugas, seeming to
enjoy the company but also somehow con-
veying the notion that they’d rather be some-
where with natural sunshine upon the waves.
Saving the whales
The bottom line for most visitors is
that for half the price of a whale-watch,
oceanariums offer all the observation oppor-
tunity one wants, typically combined with
shows in which whales take spectacular
leaps, use sonar to fetch objects blindfolded,
and display extensive non-verbal “vocabu-
lary.” Only Vancouver shuns such acts as
unnatural. One must wonder if Vancouver,
albeit politically correct, isn’t otherwise
wrong. Elsewhere, with little encourage-
ment, the whales often volunteer encores,
even improvising stunts of their own. It’s a
rare dolphin especially who resists applause.
More than 20 million people a year
visit the 450-odd cetaceans and 1,100 other
marine mammals held by U.S. entertainment
facilities. The economic value of oceanari-
ums, the most ambitious display venue, is
estimated at $500 million a year and growing.
Arguably, sentiment to stop whaling and pro-
tect whales evolved with the rise of oceanari-
ums. The first, Marineland of Florida,
opened in 1938. Dolphins had been exhibited
occasionally since 1558, and belugas (not
kept at Marineland of Florida) since 1861,
but Marineland of Florida was the first facili-
ty to keep any sort of whales healthy and
active in prolonged captivity. The now com-
monplace dolphin shows were an especially
important innovation, as trainers discovered
the importance of giving the highly intelligent
creatures something challenging to do.
The Marineland of Florida dolphin
shows inspired imitators, leading to the 1959
film F l i p p e r, and the subsequent TV series
of the same name. Success with dolphins
encouraged keeping other small whales––
including the then much-feared orca, the
only whale who usually eluded hunters, first
captured alive in 1961. The affectionate
nature of captive orcas rewrote human per-
ceptions of the species. Twice orca trainers
have been killed on the job when orcas buf-
feted them, most recently Keltie Byrne, 20,
whose 1991 drowning before a packed house
at Sealand of the Pacific, in Victoria,
British Columbia, caused that facility to
close two years later. But Byrne was killed
when play became too rough––when orcas
played with her as if she was one of them,
not a fragile human––and their later remorse
was reportedly evident. No captive orca has
ever intentionally bitten a person.
The value of captive cetaceans as
ambassadors for their species seems evident
in the numbers of people who go from see-
ing films to visiting oceanariums to whale-
watching to active advocacy. For many,
direct contact with a whale seems as impor-
tant as contact with dogs and cats in inspir-
ing support for humane societies.
But critics reject the ambassador
analogy. “I would argue to doomsday,”
says International Wildlife Coalition presi-
dent Daniel Morast, “that having pilot
whales in captivity is not going to protect
pilot whales in the wild.”
Adds Ben White, Pacific director
for Friends of Animals, “Calling these ani-
mals ambassadors is as if we wanted an
ambassador from Switzerland, so we kid-
napped a Swiss off the street at random and
kept him in a car trunk.”
Capture trauma
Early captures were especially bru-
tal. The first captive orca died just one day
after being hauled to Marineland of the
Pacific on a flatbed truck. The second cap-
tive orca was harpooned in 1964 and
dragged by the harpoon for 50 miles through
rough waters to the Vancouver Aquarium,
where he was to have been used as a sculp-
tor’s model. Instead he lived for 85 days
before dying from a skin disease apparently
caused by low salinity in his makeshift hold-
ing tank. Floating pens were introduced for
orca capture in 1965, by Don Goldsberry of
Sea World and Ted Griffin of the Seattle
Public Aquarium, and were soon used to
catch other whales, as well––but whales
don’t enter pens easily. Between 1965 and
1973, 48 whales were caught off British
Columbia; 12 more died during capture
attempts. Goldsberry reputedly herded more
than 200 orcas with aircraft, motorboats,
and explosives to get 30 into the pens, at
cost of nine killed. Lawsuits and legislation
in both Canada and the U.S. ended such cap-
tures in Puget Sound by 1976, although
occasional orca capture permits were still
issued for British Columbian waters until
1982. Goldsberry meanwhile took his meth-
ods to Iceland, where about 40 orcas were
captured between 1976 and 1983––nine for
Sea World, three for Sealand of the Pacific,
and the rest for foreign facilities. Mortality
remained high. Sea World acquisitions from
Iceland ended when the U.S. banned the
import of Icelandic orcas in 1983. Sea
World then applied to capture 100 orcas over
a five-year period in Alaskan waters, 10 for
captive breeding and 90 to be released after
three weeks apiece of study. The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
issued the requisite capture permit, but an
unlikely coalition of whale watch promoters,
Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the state
of Alaska in January 1985 got it invalidated
by the U.S. District Court in Anchorage. The
ruling was upheld in January 1986 by the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals. Since then, U.S.
and Canadian oceanariums have acquired
orcas only through captive breeding and via
purchase from other oceanariums.
Captures of other cetaceans contin-
ued at least into December 1993, when the
Shedd Aquarium of Chicago took three
Pacific whitesided dolphins from waters near
San Diego, amid a storm of protest. No
other oceanarium captures are currently
planned, but the capture era may not be
over. Canadian marine mammal regulations,
adopted in February 1993, allow the capture
of marine mammals at the discretion of the
Minister of Fisheries, without requiring use
in science, education, or captive breeding.
Current Canadian policy opposes the capture
of whales for sale, but this could change.
Most cetacean captures in recent
years have been protested. The 1990 capture
of dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon
for the National Aquarium in Baltimore led
many nearby towns to pass anti-capture ordi-
nances, at request of the Dolphin Alliance.
Anti-capture momentum grew when the dol-
phins died soon after arrival in Baltimore.
The ongoing protests against the
Shedd, now focused on the dolphins, really
began in September 1990, when Greenpeace
and the Canadian group Lifeforce unsuccess-
fully tried to prevent the capture of four belu-
gas for the Shedd, and did obtain video of
the tactics used to round them. The footage
sparked demonstrations that intensified in
August 1992 when two of the belugas died
from an overdose of worming medicine.
The nastiest cetacean captures
occur along the coast of Japan, especially at
Iki Island, where fishers use boats and nets
to drive pods of small cetaceans ashore, then
hack them to death and sell the meat. During
the 1970s and 1980s, Sea World bought
several pseudorcas (false killer whales) from
the so-called drive fisheries before the hack-
ing began. Marine World Africa USA
bought four pseudorcas from Iki Island as
recently as early 1993. The Indianapolis
Aquarium considered acquiring pseudorcas
from the drive fisheries, with a Japanese
aquarium as intermediary, but the deal col-
lapsed in February 1994, just before the
aquarium’s import permit expired.
Sea World and Marine World
Africa USA argue that buying whales from
drive fisheries saved their lives. Critics claim
the drive fisheries are perpetuated by the
fancy prices paid for whales to exhibit.
Either way, Sea World no longer patronizes
the drive fisheries, and in fact has not taken
any marine mammals from the wild within
the past eight years, as result of the success
of captive breeding: of the 18 orcas Sea
World now keeps, half were born in-house.
Sea World has been even more successful at
breeding other species, having last acquired
bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, and sea
lions from the wild more than 15 years ago.
Stranding rescue
Oceanariums are also getting better
at rehabilitating stranded marine mammals,
of all types. Rescuing beached cetaceans is
risky because they are often already close to
death from disease or injury. In fact, says
Sea World research biologist Dan O’Dell,
“95% of the dolphins found on beaches are
already dead.” Of the cetaceans who are
found alive, most still still die where they are
despite the efforts of the 23-year-old Marine
Mammal Stranding Network, heavily subsi-
dized by Sea World. Treatments for the con-
ditions that may cause the strandings remain
largely experimental. There are no hospitals
for the big baleen whales, while taking small-
er whales to oceanarium hospitals remains
dangerous, especially when they start out in
fragile condition. Some pilot whales have
been returned to the ocean successfully,
beginning in 1986, but most other stranded
whales require ongoing special care if they
survive at all. Yet enough do survive that one
pioneer of stranding rescue, Bob Schoelkopf
of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in
Brigantine, New Jersey, now reluctantly
speaks of euthanizing marine mammals,
including whales who cannot be returned to
the sea, from lack of anywhere else to keep
them. Because by law stranding centers may
not keep animals longer than six months,
Schoelkopf may have to euthanize a 30-year-
old harp seal––the only one in captivity––by
October 7. Recovered from the verge of star-
vation, she could not survive in the wild
because she’s lost her teeth. She might live
for years at an oceanarium but adequate cold-
water tanks are apparently all full.
Oceanariums willing to exhibit
stranded cetaceans––and accept the risk of
death from pre-existing conditions––have
many specimens to choose from, if not
always of the most popular species. For
instance, belugas rarely venture into regions
accessible to stranding rescuers, and though
often stranded in tidal pools within the Arctic
circle, are uniquely unharmed by stranding.
Unlike other whales, they do not suffer col-
lapsed lungs when obliged to support their
own weight for long periods. If they can stay
quiet enough to avoid attracting Inuit hunters
and polar bears, stranded belugas are fine just
as soon as the tide comes in.
Regardless of what species they are,
and where they come from, keeping captive
whales well remains tricky. Medical know-
ledge of cetaceans doubles every few years,
yet keepers still make fatal mistakes, as at the
Shedd. The fast growth of the oceanarium
industry––more than 30 major facilities have
opened recently or are under construction––
has outpaced the training of staff. There’s no
shortage of people who want to work with
whales and dolphins, but there is an acute
shortage of people with experience. Tank
sizes and designs are much improved since
the era when whales were kept either in nar-
row fish tanks or in modified swimming
pools that scarcely allowed them room to
dive. Expert opinion is split as to whether
captive whales are disturbed by echoes from
their sonar bouncing off the concrete walls of
tanks, but to prevent this, new tanks use
mostly curved walls. Modern tanks are also
markedly deeper than the older facilities (the
Sea World standard depth is 30 feet), and are
often linked with other tanks, as at
Vancouver, to afford a semblance of varied
habitat. Still, even today only Sea World has
tanks that whales or dolphins can’t cross in
seconds––whereas wild orcas may swim up
to 250 miles a day, and even the relatively
placid belugas are in almost constant motion
when not stranded. Most oceanariums pro-
vide whales with companionship, though
some facilities still keep certain individuals
alone, but the more animals in a tank, the
less space each has. And even a large captive
group of three to five cetaceans is still small
compared to wild pods of 20 or more.
Whale sex in bondage
The baseline measures of captive
animal well-being are lifespan and reproduc-
tive success. Of the 26 marine mammal
species kept within the U.S., 17 reproduce to
some extent. Captive dolphins have done
well enough that some are now grandparents.
Even the highly endangered Commerson’s
dolphin has bred in captivity since 1990.
There is now such an oversupply of captive
bottlenose dolphins that Ocean World, of
Fort Lauderdale, is reportedly struggling to
place 12 who will be homeless when it closes
on August 30. Six were captive-born. The
U.S. Navy has had little more success in giv-
ing away 25 bottlenose dolphins and five sea
lions, formerly part of its marine mammal
unit at San Diego. So far oceanariums have
claimed just one Ocean World dolphin and
four Navy dolphins.
Larger whales haven’t been as
fecund, or as successful in rearing young,
but oceanarium experience with larger
whales is relatively slim. While many cap-
tive-born belugas, pilot whales, and orcas
have died in infancy, others survive, and are
now reaching their own reproductive years.
As expertise in whale reproduction increases,
the growing supply of captive-born whales is
expected to replace any need for further wild
captures, except perhaps to diversifiy the
captive gene pool––or to breed species that
are almost extinct in the wild. Small whales
not now in captivity which have been men-
tioned as candidates for captive breeding
include the baiji, or Chinese river dolphin,
and the vaquita, native to the Gulf of
California, which in May was protected by
the International Whaling Commission from
both killing and capture. Both inhabit warm,
shallow waters and tolerate human presence.
Meanwhile, whether any captive
whales enjoy a normal life-span is a matter of
intense debate. Much of it originates in con-
fusion over what the lifespans of cetaceans
are. Older references offer estimates based
on the belief, prevailing until 1984, that
toothed whales grew one new tooth layer per
year. Thus wild orca longevity was put at 60
years for males, 80 to 90 years for females.
Belugas were believed to live 50 years. Such
estimates were halved after a postmortem on
Alex, a beluga who was captured as a calf in
1960 and kept at the Mystic Aquarium for 24
years. Alex was found to have actually
grown two new tooth layers a year. He died
of old age––as have other captive whales
who were believed to have died young from
a premature onset of degenerative disease.
The old estimates still surface. The
Humane Society of Canada, an offshoot of
the Humane Society of the U.S., in May
1994 issued a study comparing the survival
of all bottlenose dolphins, orcas, and belu-
gas known to have been captive during the
years 1962-1992 with the survival of the
same species in their native habitat. HSC
concluded that the average lifespan of a dol-
phin is 14 years in captivity, but 20 to 29
years in the wild, a reasonable figure, while
the average lifespan of an orca is 15 years in
captivity, but 58 years in the wild, an esti-
mate most authorities now say is far too high.
The HSC study may have overstated wild
lifespans; may have underestimated wild
cetacean calf losses, the rates of which are
little documented; and it included in the
averages the short lives of many of the first
cetaceans captured. Survival rates today are
much better.
The National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration in 1990
reviewed two studies of captive cetacean
longevity done by oceanarium experts D.P.
DeMaster and J.K. Drevenak in 1988, and
Karen L. Steur in 1989. DeMaster and
Drevenak concluded that the average lifespan
of captive dolphins is indeed 14 years. Yet
life expectancy for wild-caught dolphins who
survive their first year in captivity was 33
years, and life expectancy for captive-born
dolphins over one year of age shot up to 47
years. Steur confirmed the dolphin data, and
found that the annual death rate for captive
belugas between 1975 and 1985 was similar
to that of dolphins, about 4%––low for any
species, wild or captive. NOAA concluded
that, “Survival rates in captive dolphins are
similar to and, in some cases, possibly bet-
ter than survival rates in free-ranging dol-
phins.” Survival rates of other whales are
also rising toward the apparent wild norms.
Oceanarium experts explain the
low first-year survival rate of wild-caught
cetaceans as a result of capturing those who
may be the slowest and least astute of their
pods, with infections and infirmities that
catch up with them under the stress of adjust-
ment. Critics argue that the stress is usually
more a factor than the pre-existing condi-
tions. Either way, the point might be moot if
oceanariums kept only captive-born and/or
stranded whales. Often cited as a goal by
oceanarium management, this may come to
pass––but no one expects it soon.
Meanwhile, pressure builds for the
release of cetaceans already in captivity. Pro-
release activists built a following even before
Richard and Sheila Dommer’s 1992 hit film
Free Willy! brought the issue to Middle
America. Among the leading release advo-
cates are former Vancouver Aquarium orca
researcher Paul Spong; former Navy dolphin
trainer Rick Trout; former F l i p p e r t r a i n e r
Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project; and Ken
Lavasseur, who advocates what he calls the
“Dexter Cate Third Phase Alternative to
Dolphin Captivity,” in honor of the late
Hawaiian surfer/environmentalist Dexter
Cate. This would involve attracting dolphins
to sites similar to Monkey Mia, along the
Australian coast, where humans could study
and swim with dolphins in situations where
the activity could be controlled and the dol-
phins could leave at will.
Within mainstream marine mam-
mology, the case for release is unpopular.
The captive marine mammal industry is the
main employer of marine mammologists, but
beyond self-interest, memories linger of how
Lavasseur and a colleague, Steve Sipman,
released two Atlantic bottlenose dolphins
from a University of Hawaii research station
in 1976. One vanished; the other was killed
within 24 hours when waves dashed her
against a coral reef. Her chances of survival
in the Pacific were dubious to begin with.
Many pinapeds and small whales
have been released successfully after brief
captivity following strandings. Successful
releases after long captivity began in 1988,
when O’Barry and Virginia Coyle released
Joe and Rosie, two wild-born Atlantic bot-
tlenose dolphins who had been used in lin-
guistic experiments by the late John Lilly.
Captive for seven years, they readjusted well
to life off the Florida coast. In 1990 Randall
Wells of the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago con-
firmed the possibility of release by returning
another pair of wild-born bottlenose dolphins
to Tampa Bay, after they had been held for
two years. O’Barry has now released 12 dol-
phins, he says, most of them abroad. His
best known release came in March 1993,
when under the auspices of the World
Society for the Protection of Animals he
released a dolphin off the coast of Brazil who
had spent nine years, alone, in a substan-
dard tank at a now defunct amusement park.
A year later, WSPA reported, the dolphin
remained alive and well.
The U.S. Navy was apparently con-
vinced. “Victory!” O’Barry faxed to A N I-
MAL PEOPLE on June 25. “We will get
six Navy dolphins!” Confirmation came
July 14, when the Humane Society of the
U.S. anounced that O’Barry will receive five
former Navy dolphins, not six, all young
males recently taken from the Gulf of
Mexico. Simultaneously, O’Barry will
supervise the rehabilitation of three other bot-
tlenose dolphins, Bogie, Bacall, and Molly,
whose release from the Ocean Reef Club
lagoon in Key Largo, Florida, was negotiat-
ed by Joe Roberts of the Dolphin Alliance.
Molly, age 34, captive for 20 years, “will
be reviewed for release,” said Roberts, but
will likely stay at the rehabilitation center on
Sugarloaf Key, “helping younger dolphins
on their journeys to freedom.”
Sea World isn’t ready to release
any whales, but is working with the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service to begin rehabili-
tating for release about 50 manatees, 15 of
them kept at Orlando. Some were rescued
from stranding; others were born captive
from stranded parents, whose fecundity
caused the USFWS to order in 1991 that they
be kept sexually segregated. Three previous
manatee releases failed because after life in
captivity the 900-pound vegetarians were
unable to feed themselves. Special training
at a new $40,000, 4.5-acre pen in the Banana
River, near Cape Canaveral, is supposed to
remedy that. If the releases succeed, the
manatees may help to restore the wild popu-
lation, now precariously low.
Various groups seek a chance to
similarly rehabilitate and release orcas. The
candidate most often mentioned is Corky, of
Sea World, age 28, captive for 23 years. Sea
World vice president for marine mammal
health Bill Hughes claims Sea World orca
calves have an 88% survival rate, compared
to an estimated 44% survival rate for calves
in the wild. But Corky is not part of the posi-
tive record. Captured for Marineland of the
Pacific in 1971, Corky in 1977 was the first
orca known to have become pregnant in cap-
tivity––but her calf died after just 18 days.
Six more pregnancies resulted in three still-
births and three more early deaths. She came
to Sea World after Marineland of the Pacific
closed in 1987. Her last failed pregnancy was
in 1990. She is considered the best candidate
for release because her pod, living along the
British Columbia coast, is closely monitored,
and still includes her own mother, who gave
birth successfully as recently as 1992. Sea
World has resisted intense pressure for
Corky’s release, led by the Fund for Animals
and Lifeforce; since campaign leader Jerrye
Mooney left the Fund earlier this year, her
case is fading.
Other orcas mentioned for possible
release include Yaka, of Marine World
Africa USA, from the same pod as Corky;
Ulysses, whom the Barcelona Zoo in Spain
sold to Sea World in January, disappointing
European activists who had hoped to buy his
freedom; and several years ago, Tillicum,
one of the three orcas who drowned Keltie
Byrne, who were all sold to Sea World. One
current favorite is Lolita, age 30, for whom
Ocean Drive magazine publisher Jerry
Powers has pledged $100,000 in free
fundraising ads. “We are prepared to offer
the Miami Seaquarium $1 million for Lolita’s
freedom,” says O’Barry.
Free Willy?
The frontrunner is Keiko, the orca
star of Free Willy! On August 18 whale
muralist Robert Wyland announced he had
contracted to do a mural for the Reino
Aventura amusement park in Mexico City,
Keiko’s home since 1985, in exchange for
which he will get custody of Keiko. Wyland
said he would promptly move Keiko to a big-
ger tank, where he would be taught to catch
fish, with release the eventual goal. But
Keiko, age 14, is not generally considered a
strong candidate for release because his pod
of origin is uncertain, he has been captive
since 1982, he comes from Icelandic waters
where whales are hunted, and he suffers from
a chronic skin disease which could impede his
survival. The skin disease has also prevented
his removal to Sea World, which the Donners
believe might be the best place for him.
The possibility of cetacean releases,
however limited, has inflamed ideological
debate over whether marine mammals should
even be in captivity. ANIMAL PEOPLE
will take a critical look at the propaganda
wars in a future edition. Meanwhile, suc-
cessful release opens up options beyond sim-
ply freeing “Willy” et al: It hints that captive
breeding to insure the survival of small wild
whales actually can be done. It means that
wild and captive gene pools can perhaps be
shared, insuring healthy captive breeding
without permanently removing whales from
the ocean. It further means that oceanariums
may be able to adjust their holdings to con-
serve the species most at risk, rather than
keeping large numbers of species not at risk,
such as Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, simply
because they are already captive.
Whatever else happens, the Free
Willy! debate is no longer hypothetical; at
issue now is whom to free, when, and why.
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