Okura's avatar

JJ vs Keiko

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By Okura   |   
© 2014 - 2020 Okura

Contact Details
If you wish to contact me to use this, please contact me at okuraorca (at) hotmail.com, so then I can arrange it to be send to you full sized.
You are more than welcome to share this about and print to use to help raise awareness.


EXTREMELY HUGE FILE if you are going full sized. This is set to an A1 poster sized resolution.

Second in my new series of posters and documents that I am creating to show the truth about the captive industry.

SeaWorld constantly claims they 'care' and what they do is all for the best of animals worldwide. They regularly point to JJ as their prime example.
Truth is, JJ's story was as much mistreated and misrepresented by SeaWorld as any other 'truth' they claim.

Meanwhile, Keiko is constantly downtrodden and claimed to be a failure by both the parks and their supporters.

So, I wanted to create something here, to show a difference between the two, so you can see who truly cared about who they were releasing...

Important Notice

Before you comment, think twice.
I don't care if you are pro-captivity.
This is facts about the animals presented.
Arguing the point of pro-captivity is a pain and I do not care for it on my art. I have had threats and abuse slung at friends and family before and will not tolerate it here.
If you do not agree to this DO NOT COMMENT. It's that simple.
It's fine to have a discussion, but if you are simply going to bash and call it or me things, then keep it to yourself.

Finally, a great big thank you to James, who assisted with this, and everyone else who has assisted in anyway. You all know who you are and I thank you.

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anonymous's avatar
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bloatedseal's avatar
i agree with keiko, they tried very hard to help him and continued to help him right to the very end, now that is true love and devotion, seaworld only did it for the damn money
Crystal-Gargoyle's avatar
I absolutely love your anti-captivity posters. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises do NOT belong in captivity. They are not ours to be used so shamefully. Empty the tanks!
Bloodwolf-Xx's avatar
Bloodwolf-XxHobbyist General Artist
I just read abou JJ in my mew book. It's so sad😣
OrkyDorky's avatar
OrkyDorkyHobbyist General Artist
Nice artwork and message ^^ but just woundering the other day i was browsing though captive cetaceans in marine parks and one of them sayd there was a minke whale once in captivity? you know if it was rescuded or captured? 
LuckyStarhun's avatar
LuckyStarhunStudent General Artist
That's crazy... Iceland to Norway? Orcas don't naturally live that far north, I guess that was the problem for him. I hardly believe they were that stupid to release him there where there is a lack of orcas' natural food and maybe he got pneumonia because of the cold and hunger.
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually, orcas are found in the waters worldwide. There are pods that live in the Arctic and even in the far reaches of Antarctica. That's why they are considered one of the superior predators in the world, able to live in any ocean environment.
Keiko was also taken from those same waters and family when he was two years old. The challenge was finding his actual birth pod because there weren't reports of the various pod types back in those days.
LuckyStarhun's avatar
LuckyStarhunStudent General Artist
When I saw your deviation about the captive orcas, I searched for Keiko's story on Youtube and I found a Nat Geo documentary. I watched it and according to it they found Keiko's birth pod but despite of the fact he communicated with his family, he still had the habit of following boats and interacting with people. This is not ideal for a captive orca that is released because they need to behave like wild orcas. I think that, because there was a permanent change in behaviour due to captivity, Keiko's release was considered a failure, even if he survived on his own for a while. For all animals which are kept temporarily, for example to treat injuries, this is the same, the animal should not associate humans with food and interaction with humans has to be restricted to the minimum. So I think that trained orcas cannot be released if they have been caught as a calf because they do not have the opportunity to learn the orca language and this is a big issue even if they are released to live with their family. You can imagine this in human terms, it's like letting an autistic person out to the society from an institute they have been living. You can tell it's hard if someone sociable has a disability in communication and it's the same for orcas. Keiko's relation with his family might not have been without issues otherwise he would not have seeked the company of humans.
LordVaderNihilus's avatar
LordVaderNihilusHobbyist General Artist
I think they cared more about Keiko, people of Sea World and Loro Parque say that release orcas on captivity could kill those animals when they only care about the money they would loose

I love orcas, they are smart, social and great predators able to take down whales and sharks, they´re hunting tecnics are a true show , not the show that the parks make them do

Release the orcas on captivity would actully show that they actully care about them, after all Sea World and Loro Parque are just a meaning of slavery to orcas and dolphins, Sea World and Loro Parque only know how to hurt these animals and they say "we care about them" and after Blackfish they just play victim

We´re on 2015 the science change and science, love and i mean true love to these animals could help to release these animals from that tanks and find a way to teach them to be wild animals and also find the way to return them to their families
Andranis's avatar
AndranisHobbyist Digital Artist
What makes me saddest about this is it always makes me think of Lolita, who's in a worse state than Keiko was... And the park that owns her DOESN'T want to sell or release her, even though her pool is far too small and she's all alone, never mind the ill health she's probably in. I remember after I first learned about her, in the wake of Keiko's release, thinking that if the same foundation that had helped Keiko could just get a hold of Lolita... The tank Keiko'd resided in at the Oregon Coast Aquarium might have been perfect to help her. But their stubbornness is disheartening, and I keep thinking one day they're going to find her floating in her tank :(

That said, those facts about JJ are just... Awful D: I hope she's okay out there ;A; (I also knew from the time it was announced that he'd died, HOW Keiko had died, which was something they couldn't help in time. The idea that SeaWorld is calling that a FAILURE, when any wild-born and -raised whale could die from pneumonia without us ever even knowing, is just disgusting.)
Writerwoman1's avatar
Writerwoman1Hobbyist Writer
That just seems twisted and a little sickening in my eyes. But also saddening about what happened to JJ 
Hawkheart29's avatar
Hawkheart29Hobbyist General Artist
How is Keiko a failure if he lived for several years in the wild after release?
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Because the theme parks want to spin it that way to prevent more releases.
If people consider Keiko a big success, which he was, then they may be expected to do the same with their animals.
Hence they spin it to make it seem like he was a failure.
harleyfreedomrider19's avatar
It's no surprise that Sea World would cover up Keiko's Success and me Being a Conspiracy Theorist I know a lot about cover ups and Lies of government and cooperations I remember watching Blackfish scary stuff and also watching Conspiracy Theories on the JFK assassination 
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
It's not so much cover up, as it is not following up because they know no-one can prove anything if they just ignore it.
harleyfreedomrider19's avatar
well at the very least Keiko was free in the end god bless he's soul and you know they say Orcas can actually live to be 80 or more well females anyway Males I think 50 or little more and I am like Wow Sea World sure Lies and you know I know Blackfish is a scary Film but The Cove on other hand was just....... Gory and just sad and seeing all that blood in the water it was like the invasion of Iwo Jima and Ohama Beach combined
Hawkheart29's avatar
Hawkheart29Hobbyist General Artist
Oh. I guess that makes sense in a twisted sort of way. Thank you for clearing that up for me.
Snakeman2013's avatar
I feel like the main reason they released JJ was simply to take up all that space it had occupied. The Grey Whale did live in one of the orca tanks after-all
LillyWillow5's avatar
I love this poster, but the only comment I have is that Keiko's trainers had no idea if he lost weight or not since they did not have a scale to weigh him when he was released.  I realize you can tell by looks if he lost a ton of weight by a sinking blowhole and his activity levels, but I'd rather it said "he appeared to have not lost any weight".  This may not seem to be a big deal, but in my opinion it sounds as truthful as possible (which is important because Sea World likes to stretch the truth, or exclude it).

I have heard that the Oregon Coast Aquarium was the only aquarium who would take Keiko in from Mexico because of the PR nightmare.  They took him because they were a brand new aquarium and had plenty of room to build his tank and had no idea of the politics involved.
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
Fair enough point about the wording.
I'll make an update in the next few days.

Not sure on the Oregon part, but it is possible.
orcanerd's avatar
orcanerdHobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice work, but what were your sources?  
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
I asked a few people who were involved with Keiko or followed the details as well as a few books.
This was before it was decided to start citing sources so I don't actually have the full lis anymore I'm afraid.
orcanerd's avatar
orcanerdHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! And thanks for citing the other works!
Okura's avatar
OkuraHobbyist Traditional Artist
No worries.
After this one started to be shared, it was suggested as they were bacoming very popular to cite sources, so we started using them from that point on. :)
Kaska777's avatar
Kaska777Hobbyist Interface Designer
Here in Mexico we still remember Keiko's release. When we heard he had died of pneumonia, it was a painful moment...yet, we felt happy about the fact that the park cooperated and that he was able to return to freedom for a while. It's been a hard lesson to learn.
anonymous's avatar
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