To Mr. August Busch III
Chairman of Anheuser-Busch
1 Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
Dear Mr. August Busch III,
We often take personal freedom for granted. Sometimes, situations arise that make us aware of the fragility of our freedoms and the importance of defending them. Here, I want to bring to you a cry for freedom and for justice.
"Corky" is an orca whale, owned by Sea World, and abducted from her family in 1969 at the age of 4. At that time we knew very little about orcas, now we know much more....
At 30 years of age Corky is still young for an orca female in the natural world. In the wild, Corky would be a young mother with perhaps two or three offspring and at least a decade of reproductive life ahead. Scientific evidence that orcas live to the age of 70 and beyond in the wild is irrefutable. But in captivity, Corky is reaching old age with little life left to live. Lack of exercise, poor diet, and emotional stress, all shorten the life of a captive orca. Corky's life has been very hard. She has been pregnant 7 times. None of her offspring survived more than a few weeks. In 1989 she was attacked by another female, who died in the assault. Lethal violence is unknown in free orca!
In the wild, Corky's family, the "A5" pod, has survived and grown. Today it has 14 members, one of whom is Corky's mother... now 47 years old. I believe Corky has a chance to return to her true family and enjoy her remaining days with them. I also believe that helping her do this will be a healing act on the part of humanity... and the best way for you to deal with Corky's declining years and her eventual death.
Corky faces only one huge obstacle that is the reason for this letter. It is your company, Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser beer and owner of Sea World in San Diego, California... where Corky is incarcerated. Your people refuse to give Corky a chance to win a new life for herself and her family.
Sea World claims Corky could not survive in the wild but life at Sea World is in doubt as well. Eight orcas have died at Sea World facilities in the past five years. Since 1965, 19 orcas have died on Sea World premises, an average of nearly one a year.
The return will not be easy. First, Corky must be proven healthy. Then, carefully, Corky would be moved to a "half-way house" where although still captive she would be in touch with her family & other free orca. Only when Corky is ready, when she can catch live fish and when there are clear signs of communication and acceptance... will Corky be set free. Afterwards, she will be tracked and monitored.
Corky's release would be followed around the world. Sea World has stated they fear condemnation if Corky dies after return, but her death in captivity is not that far away. Let us see then if being released could return her to good health. Sea World would be praised for letting her return to her family and live out her remaining days in the waters where she was born.
Whether Corky will survive over the long term we can't say, but we know her time is short anyway. Who can doubt that it would be far better for her to die hearing the sounds of the sea and the calls of her own kind, then to simply sink onto a concrete floor, becoming just another bleak Sea World statistic?
Time is running out. If you do nothing, one day soon Corky will take her last breath and sink to the bottom of her concrete tank. A great chance, for Corky, and her family, and for the cause of freedom everywhere, will have been lost. Please don't delay. Please, act today! Corky needs to return home.
For Corky, I thank you.