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
Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Free Willy star 'to stay in Norway'
Keiko the killer whale
Keiko has spent over 20 years in captivity
Keiko the whale, star of the Free Willy films, is likely to be looked after in Norway over the winter after an unsuccessful attempt to release him into the wild, his handler has said.

Keiko swam to a Norwegian fjord after being released in Iceland following more than 20 years in captivity.

Whale experts thought the creature would not be able to survive a Norwegian winter and might have to be put down.

Keiko the killer whale
The whale was recently released into the wild
But locals pleaded for him to stay to help boost tourism after fans flocked to see him.

His handler, Canadian Colin Baird, said he was looking for a quiet fjord "where he can have contact with other killer whales".

He is currently in the Skaalvik fjord, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Experts had feared that Keiko was getting so much attention in his new home that it was making him ill.

The whale became listless and hovered near shore for several days, possibly due to shock or exhaustion from crowds, and local officials made it an offence to go within 50m (165 feet) of him.

Performing

But veterinarians have declared him healthy.

The black and white whale, now 25, 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:

11 Sep 02 | Entertainment
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