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Keiko's Fate May Be a Whale of a Blow to Parks

June 27, 1996

Re "Willy Went Free, but Will Keiko?" (June 9): Sea World comments that freeing Keiko is "gambling with an animal's life." In fact the only thing being gambled with is the amusement park's corporate profits.

Most of the diseases captive whales (including Keiko) suffer are caused by the stress of being held prisoner. How would you like to spend the rest of your life locked in a walk-in closet, never to see your family again? This doesn't even come close to the stress a whale suffers.

If Keiko succeeds in conquering his skin disease and is eventually set free, it will be very interesting to see how Sea World and other parks react to the eventual pressure the public will put on them to restore long-captive whales to the sea. How their wallets will ache.

JANE SZONDY

Culver City

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