Oregonians count down to Keiko goodbye

September 08, 1998|By Seattle Times

For the last month in Newport, Ore., the Money Saver Motel has counted down the days until the departure of Newport's largest -- and most famous -- resident. Today, the number dropped to 1.

Keiko, 5-ton star of the movie "Free Willy" and subject of worldwide attention, affection and controversy, will be flown by the U.S. Air Force to Iceland tomorrow to eventually be returned to the wild.

Some other key numbers:

4,000 Keiko pictures drawn by schoolchildren have arrived at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and are being added to a giant paper quilt to be sent to Iceland.

3,000 hits an hour are registered at the aquarium's Keiko home page.

500 journalists have applied for credentials to cover the whale's journey.

$12 million has been spent on Keiko's rehabilitation effort.

$3 million is what it will cost for the move to Iceland.

2,537,000 people have visited the aquarium since Keiko arrived.

60,000 pounds is what Keiko, his equipment and crew in a C-17 will weigh.

1,500 pounds of ice will help cool Keiko during the flight.

0 is number of whales previously airlifted by Air Force.

Pub Date: 9/08/98

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