Orca Whale Morgan’s Fight for Freedom Continues

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Rake marks on Morgan from the other whales where she is living (Courtesy of End Killer Whale Captivity)

The Orca Coalition is pressing the case for the release of the little Dutch orca Morgan, based on the fact that the initial decision by the courts to send the whale to a Spanish amusement park was a temporary measure.

On June 23rd 2010, a young female killer whale was found stranded in the Wadden Sea, off the Dutch coast. The orca was brought to the Dutch dolphinarium at Harderwijk and given the name ‘Morgan’. The company vowed they would care for her until she regained her strength to be released, however it started allowing paid costumers to visit Morgan after only a few weeks, something that would get the orca used to humans and would complicate any rehabilitation and release effort. Not long after the dolphinarium mentioned the US based marine mammal park Sea World as a possible destination for orca Morgan and it was at this stage that a group of concerned Dutch animal welfare and conservation NGO’s founded the Orca Coalition.
Two important court hearings followed. During the first, which was held on August 3rd 2011, the judge ruled that the responsible Ministry had neglected its obligations on the issue and should do additional research to investigate the possibilities to rehabilitate the orca and set her free. The transport of Morgan to Tenerife was temporarily blocked. However, two weeks after the second hearing, which took place on November 7th 2011, the judge announced in her ruling that the dolphinarium was allowed to move Morgan to Loro Parque. She was transported to the island by aeroplane on November 29th 2011.
A new appeal hearing in the orca Morgan case will come before the Dutch courts soon, possibly as early as August. At stake is the young killer whale’s freedom as well as the potential to set a new legal precedent and change the lives of other captive animals forever. While the outcome of the case is anything but set in stone, we see great potential and with your support we can give it our best.

Once again the courts will need to carefully address Morgan’s survivability in the wild versus the trauma of life in captivity. To do so they will need to obtain an unbiased evaluation of Morgan’s health, and not rely on reports by the amusement park veterinarians.

The Free Morgan Foundation has continued to search for Morgan’s wild family, and has secured a place to prepare her for release into the wild.
This video is remarkable from an artistic point of view, and beautifully contrasts the lives of orcas in the wild versus in captivity. It is worth the extra time to view whether or not you believe captivity is the best option:

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