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Keiko's Amazing Odyssey
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Keiko Whale Rescue

The Problem 

Keiko was the real-life orca whale star of the hit movie, Free Willy. He was living in very poor conditions in a small tank in Mexico City. Free Willy moviemakers, Warner Brothers, approached us to lead the historic effort to help rescue Keiko.

Our Action Campaign 

We formed the Free Willy–Keiko Foundation to spearhead Keiko’s rescue. We built a state-of-the-art rescue and rehabilitation facility at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon, where Keiko was flown to bring him back to health. Once healthy, Keiko was then flown to a large ocean sea pen in his home waters of Iceland. There, he eventually left his pen and swam in the open Atlantic Ocean, often accompanied by wild whales. Keiko was the first captive orca whale ever returned to his home waters, a historic first. He lived out his life free of the stresses and dangers of life in a concrete tank. We continue to tell Keiko’s real-life story and how the retirement, rescue, and possible release or orcas and dolphins can work.

Current Challenges 

The whale captivity industry has steadfastly blocked all efforts to allow the retirement and potential release of any captive dolphins or whales. They fail to mention their own refusal to help Keiko when he was sick in Mexico, or how 8 orcas died at SeaWorld, and 20 at facilities around the world, during the time Keiko was rehabbed and released. Other captive orcas and dolphins may be candidates for rehab and release. We’re keeping Keiko’s legacy alive to help guide future efforts.

Give It Up For The Orcas

Give It Up For The Orcas

Paul Spong and Helena Symonds, November 2018

Make no mistake about it.  Southern Resident orcas are facing a crisis.  Yes, a crisis that could doom them to extinction within a couple of generations.  

Extinction.  It’s one of the ugliest words in our language.  Most unfortunately, the word finds use so commonly as to be beyond comprehension in these desperate days for our precious planet.  

Read More >


Interview with David Phillips, IMMP Director and Dolphin Defender

Interview with David Phillips, IMMP Director and Dolphin Defender

Sharon Ryals Tamm, October 2018

David Phillips worked on the Free Willy Keiko Foundaiton effort, which saw the successful rehabilitation and release of the orca known as Keiko, and Free Willy. 

Read Here >

Campaign Highlights

"The Free Willy Story": Full Movie

Watch the full movie here!

Buy The Keiko Adoption Kit

Buy The Keiko Adoption Kit

Kit includes photos, posters, a whale pendant, & more! Order yours today.

Order Here
Watch trailer for

Watch trailer for "Keiko, the Untold Story"

Visit the documentary website at www.keikotheuntoldstory.com


Keiko Whale Rescue on Social

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Sign the Petition to Stop SeaWorld's False Claims about Orca Whales