Sometime in the not distant future, SeaWorld's orcas will be set free. Many, many people see this as a very good thing. But how it happens is critical. Consider the experience of Keiko.
Keiko's path to freedom was initiated with the public swell of sympathy at the release of the movie "Free Willy" in 1993. In 1996, Keiko was moved to a much larger facility for recovery from his rather poor health and to begin re-learning how to catch live food himself. It was late 1998 before he was finally moved to Iceland. This process cost some $15 million, paid for mostly by some wealthy donors and a lot of small public donations. There was infighting over the nature of Keiko's rehabilitation, particularly over the issue of contact with humans. Throughout this time, the orca captivity industry dragged out the whole process by interfering with Keiko's transfer of ownership, trying to convert freeing Keiko into sending him to another facility, and then pushing to recapture Keiko and return him to captivity.