Lesson 3 - Something in the Air

Keiko knew something was going on. The people who took care of him were planning something. Every day new people came and took measurements. They checked Keiko's teeth, skin, and dorsal fin over and over again.

When he was young and in the wild, Keiko's fin had been tall, straight, and proud. He was just like the other orca whales in his pod. However, Keiko had been caught before he was fully grown. People wanted to teach him to do tricks for visitors. He lived in a small pool for many years. Over time, his fin had drooped far over to one side, and now it was bent that way for good.

Keiko was unhappy in his small pool. Then one day, a film company came to the pool. They filmed Keiko doing some of his tricks, and sometimes they filmed a young boy doing what looked like other tricks. Then they left, and Keiko went back to his routine.

What Keiko didn't know was that they had been filming a movie called "Free Willy". The movie was about a whale who <u>escapes</u> from his pool and returns to the wild. After the movie came out, people learned about Keiko and his small pool. News stories said that he was ill and bored.

Some people decided that Keiko should be freed, just like the whale in the movie. They decided on a plan. First, they would move Keiko to a larger pool. Once he was healthy and ready to hunt for his own food, he would move again. This time Keiko would go all the way to Iceland, near the place where he was captured. He would have a huge pool located in the ocean. When he was ready, Keiko would finally be set free into the wild.

Soon, his whole world would change, and he would be happy again.

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Mill Valley High School

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