So, I’m reading Killing Keiko and up shows a person I’m already familiar with; familiar with being a complete, lying maniac with no scruples or sense of honor or decency, that’s what. (He’s the biggest liar in Blackfish for christ’s sake, and that’s kinda like being the looniest person in the loony bin…)
A long time anticaptivity activist and vigorous proponent for the release of Lolita, Howard Garrett had published the claim that SeaWorld trainers were in Iceland intent on sabotaging the release effort. In his posting he alleged that Robin and I were agents only interested in the project to secure Keiko for the zoological community. Failing in his first attempt, he went on to insinuate that any success would be credited to SeaWorld via our participation.
(Not a single one of the team were working for SeaWorld at the time.)
Had we recognized the gravity of Howard Garrett’s accusation, it’s doubtful that either Robin or I would have continued on with our arrangement.
The fact was that Howard Garrett had not been the only one harboring a
deep hatred and distrust toward us. Even within the board of directors,
there were those that shared Garrett’s sentiments.
We would not know until later, the real antagonist that threatened our
ability to succeed was neither the harsh environment nor the behavioral
obstacles that stood in Keiko’s path; it was ignorance, dissention, and
foul play behind-the-scenes working to erode everything we represented.
It was the human element.
By the way, calling him a “freak” wasn’t my choice of words, nor that of Mark Simmons… but those of Mark’s wife, in the book; “realize that these are solid trepidations that freaks like Howard Garrett are reinforcing”.