BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Norway offers flood in for Keiko
Keiko the killer whale
Keiko has spent over 20 years in captivity
Keiko, the former performing whale, is to be given the chance to retire to a Norwegian fjord, according to locals.

The whale, who became famous after appearing in the film Free Willy, was released in to the wild in Iceland seven weeks ago, after more than 20 years in captivity.

However, he has since swum to Norway, apparently in search of human contact, and has settled in the Skaalvik fjord, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of the capital, Oslo.

Whale experts have expressed concern, suggesting the creature would be unable to survive a Norwegian winter and might have to be put down.

But many locals say they want him to stay on, as he will help to boost tourism.

"Keiko is eight metres long and the fjord is several kilometres long, so there is plenty of space for him here," said a spokesman for local authorities in Halsa municipality, which has a population of just 1,750.
Keiko the killer whale
The whale was recently released into the wild

"Offers are pouring in from people who want to give Keiko a new home. It wouldn't hurt to have a few more tourists."

Respect

However, national fishery authorities in Norway have raised objections to a whale being a tourist attraction in a nation often criticised for hunting whales.

"We reject any idea that has a commercial interest behind it," said a spokesman for Norway's Fishery Directorate.

"Keiko should get the respect he deserves as a wild animal."

Keiko was positively identified because he was implanted with a chip before being released.

The black and white whale has spent most of his life performing in marine parks in Canada and Mexico.

He was captured in 1979 at the age of just two.

Millions of dollars have been spent on preparing Keiko for his return to the wild, but experts say that he still prefers the company of humans to whales.

See also:

04 Sep 02 | Europe
03 Sep 02 | Entertainment
03 Mar 00 | Entertainment
07 Aug 02 | Entertainment
02 Mar 00 | Entertainment
17 Sep 99 | Entertainment
10 Sep 98 | Entertainment
04 Sep 98 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes