In the ongoing effort to finally free Corky from where she has been held captive by SeaWorld for close to five decades, dozens of animal advocates united to hold up a “Free Corky” banner that spanned more than a mile long.
The colorful banner, made from OrcaLab, a Canadian research organization that has long fought for Corky’s freedom, was constructed of more than 17,000 panels of artwork created by people around the world, as reported by Seaworldofhurt.com.
According to OrcaLab, Corky, a female orca who was violently captured and torn from her family in 1969, has spent the longest time in captivity of any orca captured from the wild.
While little was known about orcas at the time of her capture, OrcaLab explains on its website that Corky comes from a family that, in the wild, is known as the “A5 pod” of British Columbia, Canada. Further, it reveals she reportedly still “has close and distant relatives living free who she knew as a youngster, as well as siblings she has never known.”
The campaign that has lasted years to free Corky, originally aimed at returning her to a full life with her family in the wild, but now acknowledging the difficulties involved in accomplishing that due to her age and condition, OrcaLab has since modified its goal to retire Corky to a facility in the ocean, where she may be able to reconnect with her wild family.
In September 2014, OrcaLab’s Dr. Paul Spong was documented making a suggestion to release Corky in Blackfish Sound, a channel within British Columbia, nearby to Flower Island and Spout Islet.
Sadly, SeaWorld has continuously ignored the countless pleas to let Corky spend her remaining years in freedom.
“In fairness, we owe it to Corky and to her family to make an attempt to reunite them,” states the organization’s website, noting that it would also be an opportunity to learn more about orca’s society that otherwise would not be possible.
Beyond the humanitarian and scientific reasons, the organization believes a successful conclusion to Corky’s living situation has “the potential for focusing public attention on a wide range of critical ocean issues besides captivity,” such as the impact of human activity and industry, as well as global warming.
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