Fishermen caught Samuel George Davis Jr off the coast of Long Island after he became entangled in a net with swordfish and tuna. He was quickly dried off and put to work in smokey Jazz halls across the USA. The 'Free Sammy' campaign then pushed hard for his release back into the wild.
SeaWorld in Florida tired to acquire Sammy in the early 1950s, for an aquatic circus routine. With his natural dexterity in water and his proficiency at jumping through hoops held high above the surface, no doubt Sammy would have proved to be a profitable act.
However, when the SeaWorld deal fell through, the disappointed marine entertainment park began the 'Free Sammy' campaign.
Their motives may not have been altogether autistic, for it seems SeaWord took the vindictive attitude of, ‘if we can’t have Sammy perform for us, then he shall not perform for anyone.’
Regardless, public sentiment favoured ending his captivity.
Only one rare photo exists of that joyous occasion when Sammy Davis Jr was released back into the wild, following the successful 'Free Sammy' campaign.
However, sadly, Sammy Davis Jr was recaptured some months later, off the coast of Cuba, and once again forced to perform in smokey Jazz Halls across the USA.
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