An account of Keiko the orca's life in captivity describes his capture as a two-year-old calf, difficulties in an unsuitable environment at a Mexico City amusement park, celebrity status after the Free Willy movies, and controversial rescue. 30,000 first printing.
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Kenneth Brower is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly and National Geographic and won the John Burrows Association Award for Outstanding Natural History Essay. Brower is also an environmental activist and the author of more than a dozen previous books, including The Starship and the Canoe, A Song for Satawal, and Wake of the Whale.From Booklist:
The movie Free Willy was a phenomenon. The story of how the life of a juvenile delinquent was turned around by his relationship with a captive killer whale, and how he in turn freed the whale, made millions of dollars worldwide. But what of Keiko, the whale star of the movie, captive and sick in an undersized pool at a second-rate aquarium in Mexico? The clamor to rescue Keiko, and the controversies this rescue engendered, are presented in environmentalist Brower's saga of Keiko's return to the sea. Releasing a whale that was sick, had no hunting skills, and was out of shape from years in captivity is not a simple matter. What happened was well reported by the international press. Brower had access to all stages of Keiko's rehabilitation to the wild. But this is not just a sentimental story, as the author also covers the bureaucracy of an international release, the science behind Keiko's rehabilitation, and the battle over devoting so much time and resources to one animal. Nancy Bent
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