I use to wonder what happened to KEIKO. I’d dream of him at night. KEIKO lived in my old hometown of Newport, Oregon where I grew up. KEIKO lived in Iceland where my best friend lived in Iceland whom I’d grown up with in Newport, Oregon.
KEIKO was rescued from impoverished conditions in Mexico and millions were spent on trying to teach KEIKO to survive on his own. KEIKO lived in the water in the sea where mammals are suppose to be free, and swim on their own. As I, KEIKO loved to be near the ocean’s shore. Like me he also loved to eat fish. KIEKO had begun to grow on me at night and I dreamt of him. I wondered what it was like to be able to swim in an underwater bed, just to go from shore to shore seemed like a blast. KEIKO mystified me how he communicated. I was in awe in how friendly he was, to even let his fans pet him on the back.
I felt like I had known KEIKO because I saw him in the movies and he’d shared a special connection with me and my best friend: Linda Ros
One day when I read the papers I was sad to learn how he’d died. But even more the way it had happened. Please see accompanying newspaper article in photo. In Iceland, KEIKO was finaly released from his handlers, after millions were spent on trying for him to be independant. But who would know that a large fish who could communicate with other whales, decided it wasn’t for him. KEIKO was dropped off in the middle of the ocean and swam straight to the shores of Norway, a trek of 1,000- miles he swam. KEIKO was raised among human company, and in the confinement of a pin, whether it be in Newport or Iceland……It was here KEIKO was truly set free.
I pondered how human like qualities KEIKO had, how he knew to swim to the coast of Norway to be near his human fans and friends. How after being abandoned in the ocean– he choose to swim close to 1,000 miles to be near his real love. And after doing so, he became listless, not even looking for his own food. I believe like many humans he died of a broken heart. And no amount of superiour technology could make KEIKO a normal wild orca.
We used KEIKO for Hollywood. And he did make a lot of money for a lot of people, and I know he drew fans when he lived in Newport, Oregon.
To me KEIKO is a symbol of the human condition. He was a beautiful intelligent creature who may not have understood why he was abandonded. Like a child he mourned to the point of sickness. The technology that was spent on him is astounding. When I’d visited my friend Linda Ros in Atlanta, her and her brother Ragnar (as I also felt) conveyed that this was not an appropriate handling of KEIKO. However, we all agreed that this creature taught us a lot.
In the end he found his comfort, and died in peace. Though he was listless and would not find his own food, he took hand outs till the day he died.
There is a documentary called: Keiko: The un-told story You can find in on this website:
http://keiko.com/ It is another side to my newspaper clipping and my own thoughts among my friends.