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Kei's Folder(updates/actions) June 26, 2005 11:17 AM

Kei is a 13 year old female North American Eastern Timber Wolf who has
lived virtually her entire life on a 7 x 4 meter concrete slab in
almost total isolation from others of her species at the Okinawa City
Kodomo no Kuni Zoo in Okinawa, Japan. There, she is routinely barked
and howled at and spends most of her time pacing in the hot
sub-tropical climate of Okinawa. Please do some of the actions below to
help us get her released and back to a wolf sanctuary in North America
so that she can live out her last years of life in a more peaceful
setting, giving her the dignity she deserves.
 [ send green star]
JUNE UPDATE ALERT 6-27-05 June 26, 2005 11:47 AM

THREE easy and quick STEPS Of Action YOU Can Take:

1. Send the following letter to Mr. Yoshinobu Nishikawa, Executive
administrator, and Mr. Genwa Higa, Zoo Director (If you have time,
please craft an original one yourself).  Be sure that when you send it,
you put either one of their two names in the SUBJECT line of your mail.
  Don`t put Kei`s name in there.  Having it directly addressed to these
persons, gives it a better at being opened and read:

Dear Mr. Nishikawa and Mr. Higa,

The campaign to have Kei, the North American Eastern Timberwolf,
released from your zoo so that she can be retired to a sanctuary, has
now entered into its 228th day. As you know, her life has been one of
loneliness and sadness.  Her sadness is not only for her own self, but
the sadness of many who have seen her in her barren world -- one which
has mainly been lived in a very small enclosure, on concrete, and
devoid of all natural setting that one would expect to find in her
native environment.  Your facility has not given her the respect and
dignity that animals in captivity should receive from their captors. 
Perhaps financially, you are just not able to move with urgency to
better her environment by constructing a new enclosure.  If that is the
fact, then please make the mature and kind decision to release her so
that she can be sent to a place that can provide for the needs of her

Contact Information

The snail mail address, if you have the time to prepare and send a
letter to them, is:

Kodomo no Kuni Kiddie Land Zoo
5-7-1 Goya
Okinawa City,  Okinawa Pref.,


2. Send the following (or write your own) to Okinawa`s tourist  office
which is headed by Mario Ginama:

or by snail mail to the address below.

Okinawa Prefecture Tourism and Culture Office
Mario Ginama, Executive Administrator
1-2-2 Izumizaki,
Naha City, Okinawa Japan

Dear Mr. Mario Ginama,

After learning about Kei the wolf in Okinawa Kodomo no Kuni Zoo in
Okinawa City, I and my family have decided that when we visit Japan
this year, we will not visit Okinawa Prefecture.  Originally we had
planned to spend a week in Okinawa to take in some of your beautiful
beaches and see some of the historical sites we found in tour books of

Perhaps, you could  use your office`s influence with the governor of 
Okinawa to convince those who are responsible for keeping Kei and
refusing to let her go, Yoshinobu Nishikawa, Kodomo no Kuni Executive
Director and Genwa Higa, Zoo director, to agree to let her be retired
to a sanctuary in America that is waiting to accept her.  After we hear
about her planned return to North America we will then add Okinawa back
to our list as one of the many places to visit in Japan.  Until that
time we will help spread the word that Okinawa is a place that does not
respect the dignity of life of animals that are being kept for purposes
of display and exploitation in their zoos.

Your Name
City, Country


3. Send the following to Okinawa`s Governor, Keichi Inamine:

Snail Mail message to:

Governor Keichi Inamine
1-2-2 Izumizaki
Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture
Japan  900-8570

Dear Governor Inamine,

There is an old wolf named Kei living in Okinawa City`s Kodomo no Kuni
Zoo.  Her name is Kei and she is now 13 years old.  For months we have
been trying to secure her release from the zoo so that she may be
retired in dignity to a sanctuary that could take care of her in a much
better environment.  In fact, she would be returning to the home of her
ancestors of North America.  There she would once again see open skies
with imposing mountains; she would be able to feel the touch of earth,
pine needles, and even snow under her feet, which have known very
little other than the hard touch of concrete.

We are asking you to show mercy to this wolf and to show the world that
Okinawa can take a leadership role in not only activities that bring
and promote peace to human affairs, but also bring an end to the
suffering that animals experience  because of their captors.

Please use your influence as the Governor of Okinawa to call and urge
the zoo officials to release Kei so that she may live the last
remaining years of her life in a more peaceful setting.  She has served
as an ambassador to Okinawa long enough.  It is time that service be
recognized and reciprocated with gratitude and compassion.

Contact Information
 [ send green star]
 June 26, 2005 11:48 AM

Hello Everyone,

Welcome all new  supporters.

The status of Kei has not changed.  The zoo has still not agreed to let
her go.

First, though, I would like to say “Thank You” to all of you who sent
messages expressing your condolences on my father`s passing. Many of
you sent personal messages and e-cards with very kind words.  It really
meant a lot.  I am sorry about the let up on my side for Kei because of
my having to get back to Cincinnati.

But, that is “old news” now.  The world doesn`t stop.  Time to pick up
and move on.  I`m back.

I want to start off saying that I know many of the actions we are doing
seem to be very redundant.  In fact, they are.  But, I send these
addresses out about once every week or two, so therefore I would like
to mostly use the 2 or 3 things I ask people to do to be be of
something targeting the decision makers, which are the zoo, the mayor,
and governor.  From time to time I will focus on another target, but
those really are the three we need to keep on targeting, hence, I
usually do include one or all three of those in the Actions.  If you
would like to spend more time sending more letters on Kei`s behalf to
other targets, then please go to her forum board to get those addresses
Just choosing one or two  from those additional targets posted there
could add more energy to the campaign.

All right.  About 2 weeks ago, two of Kei`s supporters, Katrina (here
in Japan) and Burton (in the U.S.),  called directly to the zoo to
speak with Genwa Higa and Yoshinobu Nishikawa.  This was Katrina`s
second call to them.

Both calls resulted in being able to talk to the men who are
controlling Kei`s destiny.  So, the fact that calls are being received
is a good point.  They are willing to talk to those who call.  That is
good because it means they are needing to spend thier time on fielding
calls about one of their animals, rather than doing other work that  is
in need of their attention.  Time really is money, and if we do
monopolise enough of it, the cost of keeping Kei does impact on their
efficiency for running the place.

As for Katrina`s call, she described it as being a little frustrating. 
She felt that their was some laughing or mocking of her by office
workers in the background.  That only adds to the image of thier
unprofessional attitude and lack of compassion for the animals in their

But, one important piece of information was gleaned from this
conversation.  Katrina had asked Mr. Nishikawa why he or the staff
doesn`t respond to any of the messages and letters they have been
recieving.  He answered by saying, “How could we?  We have been getting
thousands of messages,” basically admitting that their mail is being
inundated to the point where they don`t feel they can answer.  I do
believe him that they are getting a lot of incoming mail on Kei (please
keep it up!), and since they are willing to take calls concernining
her, they don`t mind communicating with anyone who does take the time
to call.  But, he is being a little dishonest about not knowing how or
who to reply to.  They do know that I am the one they could easily
contact and that I am the one who originally stuck this thorn in their 
side.  They have my e-mail and my work telephone number.

One other thing we have learned from Katrina`s phone call is that they
have not blocked our messages.  Many of you have worried that they may
be blocking our e-mails.  From the beginning I have always thought that
they wouldn`t do that.  I think they would rather keep an eye on how
the campaign is growing.  By keeping a mental note as to how many
messages (e-mail and snail mail) are coming in on a daily or weekly
basis, they can get a picture as to whether the campaign is growing or
weakening.  That is always valuable information for deciding what one`s
next move is.  If they sense it is weakening, then by all means they
will just sit on their current decision of not releasing her.  Knowing
that it isn`t letting up, though, or  even growing, they must wonder if
at some time in the future it will become so big that influential
people will be attracted to her campaign and speak out for her and thus
causing embarrassment for them on a larger scale.

Here is Katrina`s report on her call which she has posted on Kei`s
Care2connect forum board ( ):

 [ send green star]
KATRINA PHONE CALL June 26, 2005 11:48 AM

My Conversation Today with Kodomo no Kuni Zoo June 14, 2005 10:47 PM

Dear all,

I rang the zoo today and had a very "emotional" conversation. 
Afterwards I was shaking and then had a good cry and a shower!

I'd like to share the conversation with you.

Firstly, it seems that Mr Genwa Higa is not the Director of the zoo,
but the Chief of Keepers (or Chief Keeper).  Mr Nishikawa is the
Director and speaks excellent English.  Mr Higa says he doesn't speak
English.  This is what they told me.

I asked why my numerous e-mails had not been answered.  Mr Nishikawa
said because there were not 100s of e-mails but 1000s and they couldn't
possibly respond.  I pointed out that if they released Kei then those
e-mails would stop!!

Of course I also asked why they had reneged on their promise of
releasing Kei.  They said that if Kei were to be flown to the US then
she would die.  They didn't want to jeapordise her.  I said she's
already heart and in spirit.

He told me that Kei loves the concrete (!!) and has a choice of
concrete and dirt and always chooses the concrete.  Hmmm....

He said that "experts" from the Japanese Zoological Association had
been consulted on the matter.  I told him that Japanese zoos have an
appalling reputation and that they could hardly be experts. 
Automatically I would doubt anything they said.  By international
standards most Japanese zoos are way off the mark.

He told me that her health is checked everyday and she's surrounded by
people who "are loving her".  He said they are her friends and that
they want her to have a peaceful life.  The funny thing is I think he
thinks that they DO love her.  It's just not what we would consider

He invited me to Okinawa to see Kei and I said that I'd been there in
March and I really love the place but now my heart is full of sadness
everytime I think of Okinawa because of Kei's story.  I told him I
couldn't bear to see her. 

  The conversation was very heated but, at times, polite with both
"sides" listening to the other.  At least he didn't hang up on me and
he did extend an invitation.

One more thing, during the call there was a kind of laughing going on
in the background.  It felt like they were laughing at "another crazy
foreigner" who was showing some compassion.  I am glad I could
entertain them.  Their lives must be miserable if they can make animals
lives miserable.  I think, in Japan, many people feel trapped by their
social obligations, their work, their families etc (more so than in the
West) and to keep their animals under control is a reflection of how
they feel controlled themselves.

I welcome any comments.


 [ send green star]
BURTONS PHONE CALL June 26, 2005 11:49 AM

My phone conversation from The U.S. with Genwa Higa (the Zoo Director
in Charge of the zoo that has Kei) in Japan about Kei.

I waited up until midnight so I could catch him in the morning in
Okinawa, Japan. I was put on hold twice until he came to the phone and
then I introduced myself  as Reverend  B.W. . I told him that I was
calling on behalf of three thousand people to see what we could do to
get Kei to a sanctuary.  I also told him we would do just about
anything to get her there -- even buy her.  He hesitated for a minute,
like he was thinking about that offer, and then started to talk.

He said experts from around the world, due to her campaign, have
contacted him and told him many things about how Kei would be happier
in a place with other wolves, and that she should indeed be placed with
other wolves. Then he said that HIS experts said that she wouldn’t 
live long in a place like that because she was born in captivity and
doesn’t know wolves or how to act with other wolves.  I told him that
even a wolf in captivity can adapt to anything fast and that it was
their nature to do so. He then asked how I knew that and if I knew
anything about wolves like THEIR experts do. I said, “Yes, Sir, I do.
I`ve studied wolves for thirteen years, and I know what they like to
eat , how they play,  their stance when they’re ready to fight or
hunt.”  I told him that although my “hands on experience” is with a
wolf that is 50% mackinze timber wolf and 50% malamute, I am in
constant contact with an expert that has plenty of hands on experience
with  100% full blooded wolves and other people. I also informed him
that we help find good homes for wolves that were once pets. I told him
that I would like to someday introduce him to some of these people I am
associated with.

He didn’t challenge my knowledge about wolves anymore after that. He
went on to tell me again that Kei was born in captivity and that she is
happy there. He also said that he has seen the pictures that are
circulating on the internet of Kei and that they are old pictures.  He
said, “Kei looks better and happier now. Kei and her keeper have a
strong bond. She is fed well.” I then asked him what she was being fed.
He replied, “ Raw meat and a special diet that is high in protein and
grains [I suspect dog food].” he said Kei’s keeper is always by her
side  and that Kei is  given  vitamin supplements.  He went on to say
that although kei was sick for a while previously, that she now had
bounced back fast from that[I suspect kei was experiencing depression].

Some of the stuff he mentioned was in his language so I wondered if he
was hiding something.

He continued speaking, saying that he feels people have been mean to
him in their letters and that that has closed him to any talks about
moving Kei.  ...

I asked him about Kei’s inside living area.  He said that it is climate
controlled so she is happy  and comfortable. He stated that Kei has her
favorite toys to play with -- one is a rubber ball and the other is
a stuffed panda bear toy animal.

He asked me how I cared for my Dakota, which I responded by telling him
that he gets fresh air and is walked twice a day to a place where he
could do his “business” and run and play.  ...

I said, “Sir, I would like to meet you sometime in the near future and
introduce you to a couple of experts I know.” He replied saying that he
would like that, and then we said our “good-byes.”
My thoughts on this conversation are:

1. I think he was being misleading on some of the issues.

2. He was hiding something.

3. He seemed genuinely concerned about Kei and wants to see her happy.

He has gotten some mean and demanding letters which have shut him down
to anybody like that. We have to approach him in a positive and nice
way. So, please do approach him in that manner. I know that there are
some people who are going to find that hard to do, but we need to get
Kei to a good sanctuary and because of that we do have to speak more
respectfully to him.   This man seems stubborn but I believe he can be
persuaded. It sounds like he would rather talk face to face with us,
and his exact words were, “I would like to meet you and your experts.”

 [ send green star]
GREGS REPLY June 26, 2005 11:49 AM

One thing I would like to reiterate following Burton`s phone
conversation is:  We really do have to try and stay away from hateful
or threatening statements.  Keep in mind, using words that are
pejorative or expletive in nature, really does lend nothing to Kei`s
cause.  For the most part, I believe everyone has been conducting
themselves in a very adult like fashion.  Many of you take the time to
BCC what you have sent and I have never seen anything in those letters
that would be taken as overly rude.  It is my guess that the zoo people
are just a little too sensitive, but you know, you can only go so far
with being polite.  If you go too far in being polite you are basically
capitulating to their position.  So, remember, be firm and polite, but
not so polite to the point where it looks like you don`t have a back
bone or are acquiesing to their position.

Last item:  While back in Cincinnati, I had the opportunity to discuss
Kei`s situation with some other people (I find myself talking about her
campaign and animal rights with many who I come in contact with).  For
the most part, most agree that Kei should be sent to a sanctuary.  But,
occassionally I do meet someone who is against it and a debate ensues. 
Personally, I love debate because it sharpens my argumentative skills
and it could lead to possible areas of concern that I have never
thought of.   Knowing that, I have invited not only those who agree
with Kei`s campaign to join the forum and discuss her situation, but
also those who do not agree with moving her.  I just wanted to make it
clear to Kei`s forum moderators, Cindy, Maureen, and Tom, that those
dissenting views should be allowed to be posted on Kei`s site and to
not ban any new members just because they come on the board and take
issue with what we are doing.  Besides, if they are active members on
the board, it will help keep the board more active and allow us to
practice arguing our reasons for the case of retiring Kei.  As long as
no one comes on using foul language, then it should be fine.  Cindy`s
site, though, is great, and I really appreciate all the time she and
the others are putting into it,  and to all of you who have joined and

So before closing, I would like to ask everyone to rachet up your
mailings to the zoo.  They are getting thousands of incoming on Kei and
that is frustrating to them that it isn`t abating.  Please keep mailing
them e-mail and by all means try to send off some snail mail from time
to time.  And hey, if you do have a little time to spare or a few
dollars for a long distance call (really not that expensive), go ahead
and give them a call.  In all likelyhood they will talk to you.  You
know, in most cases of campaigns like this, the head people very seldom
take calls.  In that sense we are lucky to have these top officials who
we are directly targeting, taking the calls personally so we can appeal
to them directly.  Don`t let that fact go to waste.  Ring `em up at:

Country code:  011-81
Ask for Mr. Yoshinobu Nishikawa (He speaks  English quite well)

If he is not there, then ask for Mr. Genwa Higa (His English, while not
great, is ok)

and don`t forget to call them when it is about 1:15 p.m. their time. 
Right after they have lunch they have their daily staff meeting and Mr.
Nishikawa or Mr. Higa is there then.  From Cincinnati to here the time
difference is 13 hours.  We are ahead of you guys by 13 hours.  Check
with the operator to confirm the time if you do call.

As always, keep networking with others you know or post on other
message boards about Kei.  I am very impressed at how everyones`
networking has resulted in a very large support base for Kei.  Please,
if possible, go to Kei`s official site at and get
her banners to include on a homepage you may be operating.

That`s it for now.  Keep up the good fight.

Near Kei in Okinawa, Japan

Relentless Pressure, Relentlessly Applied.

 [ send green star]

KEI MEDIA RELEASE July 28, 2005 8:35 AM

Please distribute widely. Forward it to friends, relatives, work colleagues and mailing lists and PLEASE Send this news release to your local papers, radio stations and magazines.

For more information about the campaign visit our new re-launched website at
– many thanks.


26th July 2005


The campaign to free a zoo wolf at the Okinawa Children's Zoo in Japan, was started by Greg Leisure and began on November 12th, 2004. Since then, the campaign had grown from 10 supporters to a worldwide network of over 800 caring individuals, all of whom are helping to free Kei through emails, letters and phone calls to the zoo and other 'targets' in the prefecture of Okinawa. The petition site now nears 12,000 signatures as it keeps growing.

The aim of the campaign is to obtain the zoo's and city's agreement to release Kei so that she may be retired to a sanctuary in the U.S. or Canada that has agreed to accept her.

Greg Leisure, the campaign's organizer explains that the zoo's conditions haven't improved in ten years.

"When I first visited in the harsh summer heat of 1995, I remember seeing all the animals in small barren enclosures pacing on concrete.

Greg says “It was a visit that left me saddened and angered over the treatment of animals that I saw were having food thrown at them and being mocked by barks, howls, and cat calls. A total disrespect for the animals' needs permeated the entire atmosphere".

Kei is an urgent case because of her growing age. At 13 years old, Kei, a female North American Eastern Timber Wolf has lived virtually her entire life on a 7 x 4 meter concrete slab in almost total isolation from others of her species at the Okinawa City Kodomo no Kuni Zoo in Okinawa, Japan.

Visitors to the zoo have reported that she spends most of her time pacing around her enclosure in boredom and due to stress of living in such a small space, in the hot sub-tropical climate of Okinawa. The Campaign have been trying to persuade the zoo to place an air-conditioner or mister placed in it so that she can have cool air blown on her, but so far the zoo have ignored and declined their requests.

The official website for The Campaign to Bring Kei Home has just got better, after a major re-design by its webmaster, 15 year old Sam McCreesh from the United Kingdom.

The new campaign site at hosts a wealth of new features including detailed action pages advising visitors how they can peacefully put pressure on the zoo by emails, letters, phone calls and demonstrations, a photo gallery and even a video clip showing the animal pacing up and down in her barren living space. There's a message board for campaigners to interact and share ideas on, plus links, contact info and web banners.

Comments Sam "I've been involved with the campaign ever since day one, and I decided I wanted to help in any way possible. It's not possible for me to be there outside the zoo protesting for Kei so I'm doing everything I can where possible - and creating the campaign's official site is one way I hope to help free this poor animal and give her the remaining life she deserves".

A new download centre with posters and fliers is in the pipelines and expected to launch soon. Anyone wishing to help Kei should contact the campaign at or email


For more information, to arrange an interview or for photographs please contact:

Sam McCreesh


Tel: +44 (0)1664 454324 or +44 (0)7932 122187



Greg Leisure –


Thank you!
      [ send green star]


Here is the new update on Kei. Please read the briefing

And take action!

For past updates and more information on Kei, please go to:

Mike Wagner -- Director and Founder of Heart of the
Wolf Organization -- and Co-Host of Wolf Tracks  [ send green star]
Update on Kei the Wolf! February 25, 2006 12:22 AM

Update on Kei the Wolf!


This is an update about Kei the Wolf, a prisoner in the Okinawa Zoo (7X5)
meter cage for more than a decade.

For two years she has been fought for by a united effort from around the world
to at first free her, but now ensure her some sort of comfort in the final years
of her life.

Finally she has had a small amount of happiness. Here is a clip of her this month
of February 2006 enjoying a pool that was given to her.

For those who wish to know more about Kei and the battle for her rights,
you can go to these links below:

Mike Wagner -- Director and Founder of Heart of the
Wolf Organization -- and Co-Host of Wolf Tracks and
KWF Wolf Conservation

P.S.: I have new photos of Wolves available here for public viewing:
(Usually updated once a week)  [ send green star]
 February 25, 2006 6:51 AM

Thanks Mike...

Kei has been very close to our hearts for a long time....
 [ send green star]
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