Reino Aventura’s Keiko Tank

Keiko, the whale was idolized by hundreds of Mexican children who came to see their show every weekend at Reino Aventura theme park. It was so much his success that in 1993 they made a film, called Free Willy and Soap Opera: Azul.

From that, the whale became very famous in the whole world, however his life was not as good as it seemed because the artificial salty water that was filled his tank affected his skin and his weight was not that of a Whale in its natural state, in fact, was much smaller than that.

Because of that it was determined that it was best that he be released again. He moved to an Oregon rehab center where he stayed for 18 months where he was instructed on how to become a “normal” whale.

Keiko was sold to Reino Aventura theme park, current Six Flags Mexico, an amusement park in Mexico City. His arrival in Mexico was arranged by politician Jorge Hank Rhon, famous for having been involved in several cases of illegal wildlife trade.

After his treatment, Keiko was taken to a bay in Iceland, where he remained learning to hunt and eat fish in a natural environment.

Keiko was able to successfully learn all those things of an animal in freedom, so he was released with a tracking chip that served to know his position and be able to locate it in case something happened to him.

But even though he tried to join new groups of whales and coexist with them, he did not succeed, so he was returned to a place in Norway where he lived in semi-freedom until his death in 2003 when he got pneumonia and died.

About his death there has been much controversy since studies have been done revealing that the orca could never forget the human contact and that was what he could not stand.


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