Environmentalists Kill “Free Willy”

by | Dec 13, 2003

The star of the environmentalist trilogy “Free Willy” movies, Keiko (Japanese for “Lucky One”), the Orca “Killer” Whale, has died in the misguided and costly attempt to put him back into the open oceans. Quoting the Globe and Mail: Keiko was released from Iceland in July 2002. He swam straight for Norway on a 1,400-kilometre […]

The star of the environmentalist trilogy “Free Willy” movies, Keiko (Japanese for “Lucky One”), the Orca “Killer” Whale, has died in the misguided and costly attempt to put him back into the open oceans. Quoting the Globe and Mail:

Keiko was released from Iceland in July 2002. He swam straight for Norway on a 1,400-kilometre trek that seemed to some a search for companionship. He turned up near the village Halsa in late August or early September 2002. He allowed fans to pet and play with him, even crawl on his back, becoming such an attraction animal-protection authorities imposed a ban on approaching him. Nick Braden, a spokesman of the Humane Society of the United States, said veterinarians gave Keiko antibiotics after he showed signs of lethargy but it wasn’t apparent how sick he was. “They really do die quickly and there was nothing we could do,” he said. He called it “a really sad moment” but added that they could believe that they gave the whale “a chance to be in the wild.”

This is just the latest in failed and idiotic projects pursued by people that the mass division of labor under capitalism has given the free time and twenty million dollars to pursue. Twenty million dollars, presumably raised privately, spent by the Free Willy-Keiko Foundation for nothing more than trying to put a pampered whale back into the harsh and brutal world of the oceans.

I don’t want to tell these people how to do their jobs, but they could have spent twenty million dollars to keep this whale alive in captivity for forty years, which is longer than the expected age of these whales both in the ocean and it captivity. When they shipped Keiko to Iceland and then released him into the ocean he swam to Norway were he immediately came to shallow waters to interact with humans and was a big attraction until the local Gestapo of “animal rights” police banned getting near the animal.

Also, it is a relatively widely known fact, at least if you watch a good amount of Discovery Channel programming, that Orca Whales travel in pods which are like familial clans and aren’t known for letting in outside whales who weren’t born into the pod originally. This is somewhat similar to the practice of Elephants who spurn “rogue” bulls from their clans. Yet, despite all of the known facts of whale “culture,” the environmentalists blew millions on it anyway.

This is typical of all environmentalist efforts, ignoring reality and spending huge fortunes anyway. One need only look to the misguided efforts to “save” the ivory laden animals of the world. By declaring these animals, mainly Elephants and Rhinos, as endangered and declaring the lands these animals roam as protected animal habitats and illegalizing the killing of these animals the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa (backed by the United Nations and other International Wildlife Organizations) have made a black market of the activity, thus introducing all of the undesirable elements and people a black market entails. Merely looking to the black market of illegal narcotics should give some idea of the people involved in the international ivory trade.

Of course the proper response for saving these animals is the same one that saved the American Buffalo. Not only has private ownership and herding of these animals and their roaming lands reinvigorated their numbers, it has also led to the wide scale, at least in the Northern Midwest, sale of Buffalo meat and other Buffalo products. There is no reason, other than the socialistic governments of Sub-Saharan Africa and the corruption of the Wildlife Wardens charged to protect the Elephants and Rhinos, that these private property solutions can’t be introduced to really save these animals and supply the market for ivory.

Will it happen? Only if people turn away from “leaders” like Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe and institute real constitutional reform that enshrines private property rights among all other true individual rights. Otherwise, like the Buffalo, the presence of public lands will lead to the extinction of the great beasts of Africa, at least the ones that happen to be stuck on the Dark Continent.

Alexander Marriott is currently a graduate student of the early republic at Clark University in Worcester, MA. He earned his B.A. in history in 2004 from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas, where he was an Op-Ed columnist for the UNLV Rebel Yell. Marriott grew up in Chicago and lived in Saudi Arabia for four and a half years and has resided in Las Vegas since 1996.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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