Free Morgan the Orca from Cruel Captivity in Spanish Zoo

  • by: Susan V
  • target: High Court in The Hague, Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation

The owners of Spain's Loro Parque say a vet’s concerns about an orca named Morgan are exaggerated. But Loro wants this young orca captive and pregnant.

Alone and separated from her pod, Morgan was captured in the Wadden Sea in 2010 to allegedly save her from emaciation. However the deal was that she would be released back into the wild when she recovered.

That deal was broken when a “team of experts” decided she couldn’t handle living where she belongs. Instead she was moved to Loro Parque's performing dolphin pool, a SeaWorld spinoff where she has suffered repeated physical, including sexual, abuse from other Orcas, as well as self-inflicted harm.

The Free Morgan Foundation has presented a detailed rehabilitation and release plan, which has more chance of success now that Morgan’s extended family has been located. It lacks nothing more than proper funding and support from the courts.
As the film documentary “Blackfish” and caring Orca experts insist, captivity is no place for these highly evolved mammals. Furthermore Morgan is way too young to be breeding. Tell the High Court in The Hague to stop stalling and free Morgan from captivity.

We, the undersigned, say Morgan is better off risking a plan of release than remaining at Loro Parque.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Morgan is the 27th Orca in SeaWorld's collection, which includes “eight at SeaWorld San Diego, seven at SeaWorld Orlando, and six each at SeaWorld San Antonio and Loro Parque.” And SeaWorld is in the business of breeding, not freeing orcas.

The evidence of Morgan’s miserable existence at Loro Parque is well-documented, and it’s hard to believe, given the widely accepted facts about orcas' lives in captivity that any details of Morgan’s abuse are exaggerated or made up. Because of Morgan’s young age, she is also subject to what humans would call sexual harassment by the older male orca in the park, along with the repeated attacks by other whales. Free Morgan Foundation believes that Loro Parque’s intent may be to impregnate Morgan, though she is only about five years old, only a third of the normal breeding age.

The Free Morgan Foundation’s release plans for Morgan, even if not totally successful, could not put her in any more harm or agony that what she is going through now. Although her case is somewhat different than that of another successful release of an orca named Springer, the plan sounds far more reasonable than any that involves captivity and has now gained support from The Orca Coalition. The plan has even more chance of success now that Morgan’s extended family has been located.

It is tragic and unacceptable that lack of funding and the lack of support from the High Court in The Hague seem to be the main obstacles to the release plan’s success.
This is no excuse to keep any orca in captivity. We demand that the Court stop stalling and rule to release Morgan immediately!

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