- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Popped Clogs

Popped Clog: Keiko

Keiko - actor, swimmer, killer, whale - has died. He was 25.

19 December 2003

In his time, Keiko was quite the film star. He was sometimes described as the “Gregory Peck of the natural world” – a description he found particularly flattering since Moby Dick was one his favourite films. As an Orca, he had a natural distrust of Sperm whales, particularly albino ones, and greatly enjoyed watching Peck trying to spear one.

For photos of Keiko (and his human co-stars) in action, go to Oliver's Free Willy Website:


For Keiko’s filmography, check out his entry on IMDb:


...but note the slightly inappropriate silhouette they have there, instead of a photo.

So yes, Keiko the famous whale is dead. And, rare for a whale, his final resting place is not the bottom of the ocean where his hefty bones would be licked clean by crabs and eels. Keiko the famous whale ended up in a big hole in the ground. In Norway.

"The normal practice is to sink dead sea mammals in open sea, but this is a special situation," said Olav Lekve of the Norwegian Fiskeridirektoratet.

A special situation?

Well yes. A sea mammal whose very existence epitomised the quest for a return to the wild had died, and so they decided to hoist the corpse into a tractor-dug ditch in a cold field.

Keiko must be spinning in his grave.

"We wanted to let him be at peace," said one of Keiko’s caretakes, Dane Richards. "He's free now and in the wild."

Well, sort of.

But why stop a hole in a field? Why not airlift him to the top of a Peruvian mountain and let his flesh be eaten by scrawking vultures? That would have been nice and wild. And just about as appropriate.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free

Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved