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The Nation | IN BRIEF / OREGON

Farewell to Movie Whale 'Free Willy' Draws 700

February 22, 2004|From Times Wire Services

Nearly 700 people turned out to bid farewell to Keiko, the killer whale who starred in the popular "Free Willy" movies and died of pneumonia last December in Norway.

The crowd gathered at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, where Keiko lived from 1996 to 1998.

Officials at the aquarium organized the event in response to hundreds of e-mails, letters and phone calls from Keiko's fans who sought closure.

Keiko gained fame in the first "Free Willy" movie, which is about a young boy who befriends a captive killer whale and frees him.

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