Freeing 'Magical' Orcas Easier Said Than Done

Writer notes 'primal connection' with captive whale
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2010 5:43 AM CST

(Newser) – Whales like the one that killed a SeaWorld trainer on Wednesday belong in the wild, Susan Orlean writes, and humans should “just take fabulous videos of them and project them on gigantic high-definition screens”—but when you see the creatures up close in captivity, they’re just so “magical,” you want that experience, she blogs for the New Yorker.

Remembering her reporting on Keiko, the orca who starred in the Free Willy franchise (who showed no interest in being free after his release), Orlean writes, “I will never forget the soft spongy feel of Keiko’s rubbery skin or the sensation, when he lifted his huge blocky head just above the water, that we exchanged a real look, eye to eye, full of primal meaning and connection. That’s exactly why it’s so hard to do what is right with regards to wild animals.”

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