Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. V No. 2 April 1996


STUDENTS WORK TO FREE CORKY

by Pamela Finkle, CSI Board


Corky, a female orca, who has spent 26 years in captivity, is getting some help from Connecticut students, in a quest to have her rejoin her pod off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. She was captured on December 11, 1969. Twelve killer whales were netted and six were sold immediately.

Corky is currently being displayed at Sea World in San Diego, California, where she has spent the last seven years in concrete tanks listening to the artificial sounds of the machinery of water filters. She is 30 years old and has had seven unsuccessful pregnancies while in captivity.

Corky's "A5" pod still has 13 members existing in the wild. Most amazing of all, her mother, Stripe (A23) is still alive and free. A major grassroots movement has been launched to return Corky to her family. At age 30, she is still considered young for life in the open ocean, as many orca live up to age 70 in their natural environment. By contrast, the average age at death of captive females at Sea World is 17 years.

Educators in Connecticut have been presented with information packets necessary to get students involved in the Free Corky Project. Students are invited to design and contribute cloth squares that will become part of a proposed 5 kilometer banner that will be displayed at Sea World this spring, as part of a public demonstration. Students are also encouraged to collect signatures on petitions and to write directly to August Busch III, chairman of the Anheuser-Busch Corporation, current owners of Sea World, to plead Corky's case.

If successful in their efforts to gain Corky's release, experts will gradually train and re-introduce Corky to the wild. She will be returned to her home environment and hopefully be reunited with her mother and other pod members.

Three school groups in Connecticut are enthusiastically working to save Corky. Seventh grade students of Pamela Finkle at Seymour Middle School, grades six through eight students of Thomas Wachtelhausen at Roosevelt Middle School in New Britain, and students at Charles Wright Elementary School in Wethersfield are learning that active participation in a cause can be very satisfying.

Those interested in becoming involved can write to: Free Corky Project, P.O. Box 9191, San Diego, CA 92169, USA. [Anyone who wants to help hold the banner at Sea World in San Diego on Mother's Day, May 12th, please contact 619-488-5783, or corkya16@aol.com. Even if you are too far away call local family or friends and get them in on this lifetime event, or call to help sponsor others to come. - Editor]


Go to next article: Bogie and Bacall Update or: Table of Contents.

© Copyright 1996, Cetacean Society International, Inc.

URL for this page: http://csiwhalesalive.org/csi96206.html