From ANIMAL PEOPLE, Jan/Feb 1995:
ANIMAL PEOPLE hadn’t scheduled a third part
of our “Dirty Pool” series on propaganda interfering with
marine mammal protection, but as the second part went to
press on November 22, Warner Brothers and New Regency
Productions donated $2 million to a new Free Willy/Keiko
Foundation formed by Earth Island Institute, the purpose of
which is to raise $10 million to buy Keiko, the orca star of
both the 1993 film Free Willy! and a forthcoming sequel
made with out-takes; fly him to a yet-to-be-built rehabilita-
tion site in Newport, Oregon; and prepare him for eventual
release. But Keiko’s owner, the Reino Aventura amuse-
ment park in Mexico City, is apparently not yet commited.
The Center for Whale Research in Friday Harbor,
Washington, made the matter look a bit like a re-run with a
November bulletin headlined “How is Keiko, and what can
be done to help?” CWR claims to have struck a verbal deal
in August 1993 with Reino Aventura, to fly him to a reha-
bilitation center in the Bahamas and prepare him for release.
However, the story goes, the Alliance of Marine Mammal
Parks and Aquariums got wind of it and dispatched execu-
tives to Mexico City in the Sea World jet to keep it from
happening. CWR gave up on the deal in May 1994.