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Free Corky!

The wind came up early and brew hard at Marina Green along San Francisco Bay May 22, as members of the Free Corky Banner Caravan [aid out the world's longest banner, more than a mite long. It was made of patches, mostly by kids, supporting freedom for Corky, one of the orcas that prays "Shamu" at Sea World in San Diego. Thursday's Child, the famous 60-foot ocean racer newly acquired and refitted by skipper Michael Reppy in association with Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project, sailed by in' support of Corky. The blustery weather kept the crowd down, but orca researcher Paul Spong, Earth Island's Mark Berman, and Suzanne Roy of In Defense of Animals made speeches. Country Joe McDonald sang whale and freedom songs.

The Free Corky caravan, a funky old "whale-painted" bus, is carrying the banner to Orca Lab, Paul Sponge's orca research facility in Johnston Straits, British Columbia, where Corky's mother and pod return every year. Corky, captured at four years old, is the longest-held living orca in captivity (30 years). Her seven babies, born in captivity, all died within a few months of birth. She has performed thousands of shows. Has she not given enough? Doesn't she deserve to be retired and reunited with her family? Corky has proven to be very strong, but how much longer can she last? Keiko's success in rehabilitation in Iceland is proving that orcas can make the transition back to the ocean environment. Corky could be taken to a netted "haft-way house" near Orca Lab, then released to her family when ready. Her fate rests in the hands of Anheuser-Busch, the owners of Sea World. We appeal to them: Please give Corky a chance for freedom!

What you can do: write August Busch c/o Anheiser-Busch, I Busch Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63118, or phone at (314) 577-3476. Tell them "Bud is out until Corky's out/"
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Title Annotation:Sea World whale held in captivity
Publication:Earth Island Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Sep 22, 1999
Previous Article:En la kech!
Next Article:Asia's marine mammals.

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