World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Free Willy 's Freedom: Another Urban Legend

IWMC World Conservation Trust

Florida, USA. - Kieko, the killer whale with a Hollywood stage name of Free Willy, doesn't want to be free. That's a fact recently acknowledged by his handlers at the Ocean Futures organization. The futility of "freeing" Willy was a fact of biological life long echoed throughout the conservation community but totally ignored by Animal Rights groups behind the effort to return the aging orca to the wild.

"Now the world knows the truth about Willy. But, the larger question is where did the money sent to free Willy go?" asked Eugene Lapointe, president of IWMC-World Conservation Trust.

"For the past five or so years, literally tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars have been vacuumed from the public's pockets to perpetuate this newest urban legend of freeing Willy," said Eugene Lapointe. "We knew the effort to free Willy, or Kieko, was a myth when an unholy alliance of Hollywood and animal rights groups sprang it on the public years ago."

Now, however, it's time for all the groups raising money to "free" Willy to make a public accounting of the exact amount of funds raised for this half decade charade, according to Lapointe.

"Virtually every expert knew Willy would never be free. Certainly one might excuse the terminally naïve, but freeing Willy became a multi-million dollar marketing campaign. The lure of so much easy money coupled with the absence of even minimal dialogue about the possible consequences of such a venture strongly suggests a not-so-hidden agenda," said Lapointe.

"We call upon national and international authorities to open an investigation into the financial empire built around the myth of freeing Willy. Rather than an act of international kindness, freeing Willy appears to be a massive cash cow for animal rights groups that has now run dry. We want to know how much money was raised? How was it spent? The question that begs to be answered is this: was the Willy incident a simple mistake or an outright fraud?" said Lapointe.

-- IWMC World Conservation Trust Eugene Lapointe, President Former Secretary-General of CITES (1982-1990) 1127 King Arthur Court, Unit 303 Dunedin, Florida 34698, USA Tel/Fax: +1(727) 734-4949 Email:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>


Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>


Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC