A Letter to Corky

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A Letter to Corky

By Barbara Pietrowiak

Corky was an Orca held captive at Marine World Africa USA in Vallejo, California. Along with others, I protested against keeping Orcas and other marine mammals in captivity. In the wild, their average lifespan is between 50 - 80 years. In captivity it is drastically reduced. They swim 50 - 100 miles a day in the wild. In captivity, they spend the remainder of their lives, in boredom, swimming in circles and doing "tricks" in a tank.


Corky imprisoned in her tank


Corky, doing a "trick"...

The general public won't know that Corky is one in a number of many Orcas who will be brought in to replace the one that just died and will be given the same name.

Corky was captured off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Colombia.

I wrote this letter to her after the protest. I was deeply saddened by the fact that I was able to come and go as I please and that Corky would remain in the confines of a small tank for the remainder of her short life.

You have been forced to spend most of your life in the confines of a concrete, sterile environment devoid of any semblance of your natural home where your mother Stripe, Top Notch and other members of your pod wait for you. It is now twenty-two years that you have been separated from them and shared the kinship that you once knew. In your dreams, do you return to Blackfish Sound where you once played and caught salmon together? In my desperate need to somehow comfort you, I grasp at the hope that in the divine and karmic scheme of the universe there is a striving towards justice and that I and others will be aided in our struggle to lift the burden of your suffering. Yaka, Vigga and many others of your kind also remain imprisoned. Hyak, after twenty-three years of captivity, has left us and gone to a better place where the value of all life is recognized. Corky, although we differ in form, our spirits know no bounds. I am your sister who will forever be with you and will continue striving to win back and protect your freedom and of all those who suffer as a result of human ignorance and greed. There are so many who appreciate your inherent value and true magnificence--our numbers continue to grow. Until you and your family are reunited, please try to find whatever peace you can in knowing this

Your sister is always with you.