Update April 8th: the orca was euthanized a few hours ago after its condition worsened. See Norwegian news article here or click here for more on the death of this whale.
A quick heads up, thanks to journalist Elizabeth Batt (personal communication). A young orca has stranded in Norway (7 April 2013):
KARMØY: Killer whales that Sunday afternoon got dozens of onlookers Viksvågen Skudeneshavn, was lying on a shallow little further outside the city. (See translated page here)
This is the region where the captive orca Morgan’s family lives, and where a community already has selected an area where this whale could be taken if it comes to that. (Please check these posts on Morgan to find out more about her story).
It is vitally important that this young whale has every opportunity to be reunited with his/her family, and not taken into captivity, so please spread the word and help keep an eye on the news.
This letter was written to thank the community of Sto Harbour for trying hard to return Morgan to her family, and it shows that it would be feasible to keep this whale out of captivity if help is needed. Original letter was written in November 2011.
Dear Mayor Jørn Martinussen,
On behalf of the people everywhere who were rooting for the young killer whale Morgan to be returned to the waters of Norway where she originated, I want to send you heartfelt appreciation.
You and the community of Sto Harbour offered her a safe, natural place to be restored to health before she would be returned to the wild, and you made a full commitment to working with scientists from around the world.
It would have been an unparalleled opportunity for scientific discovery and an enchanting global learning experience.
Arrow indicates approximate location of barrier net for Morgan’s sea-pen. Photo courtesy and © Per S. Nielsen (2007).
Unfortunately reason did not prevail, and the legal system of The Netherlands ruled that Morgan must be sent to an amusement park in Spain.
The choice was made to disregard the opinions of leading scientists in the field of whale behavior and biology, so now Morgan will be placed with whales from SeaWorld. SeaWorld is part of a huge corporation called the Blackstone Group, (who are also majority owners in Merlin Entertainments – who in turn run Sealife Centres in the UK and also their European facilities including Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park in Germany). They are wealthy and powerful.
One can only assume that the political pressure must have been huge, as a whale such as Morgan is worth millions of dollars for her ability to generate box-office receipts for amusement parks, and even more for her contribution of fresh genes to their breeding programs.
The whales in Loro Parque where she is supposed to live show signs of aggression towards humans and towards each other, and are bred too young and too often.
Captivity will wring the spirit out of her, and statistically her life will be shortened by decades.
You and the environmentally conscious citizens of Sto Harbour, Norway are a fine example of how to make a difference in global problems, large or small.
When asked to help, you said yes, and that alone is inspirational. Maybe the people of Norway will get Morgan back someday, she belongs there.
Morgan Supporters From Around the World