Protesters target aquarium after movie premieres

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The opening of the movie "Free Willy," in which a whale is freed from a marine park by a youngster, attracted demonstrators yesterday to the National Aquarium in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to protest keeping dolphins and whales in captivity.

About 35 protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and The Dolphin Project gathered at Pratt and Gay streets near the aquarium with banners and picket signs. They passed out fliers and shouted, "Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Dolphins' jails have got to go."

"Boycott the aquarium! Twelve animals dead!" they also shouted, referring to mammals that have died at the Baltimore attraction since it opened in 1981, according to protest organizer Lisa Lange.

Some supporters honked their horns in approval, but the protest didn't stop more than 100 aquarium patrons who stood in line to buy tickets in advance.

"I think they're crazy," said Marcia Walters from Wilmington, Del. "I don't see why they have to protest everything."

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