In 1969, a young female killer whale was captured in British Columbia from the Northern Resident A5 pod. She was named Corky II, and spent the first 17 years of her life in captivity at Marineland of the Pacific. In 1986, she was transferred to SeaWorld San Diego, where she has remained since. Corky is now estimated to be around 50 years old.
For years, many activists have been calling for Corky's release. She even has a "freedom banner," a huge quilt made of material donated in honor of Corky's freedom. Scientists like Dr. Paul Spong and Alexandra Morton, as well as organizations such as PETA, HSUS, and WDC also wish Corky to be released.
Despite good intentions, this plan is simply not in Corky's best interest. It would not benefit her welfare; in fact, it would do quite the opposite. I would like to discuss Corky's release plan, why many activists want her released, and why this is not humane or realistic.
The release plan is to move Corky from SWSD to a sea pen in British Columbia. Once in her native waters, she would be rehabilitated; taught to catch live fish, exercised into top physical shape, etc. Once rehabilitated, she would – if at all possible – be released. If she was deemed unreleasable, she would live out the rest of her days in the sea pen.
There are numerous reasons why many people want Corky to be released.