Rescued Orca Morgan’s Family Has Been Located By Matching Her Language

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

“A juvenile killer whale called Morgan was found alone in Dutch waters last June 23 and has been cared for since then by the Harderwijk Dolphinarium. Now that Morgan appears to be in good health, the Free Morgan Support Group, together with a global team of experts, has presented a solid plan to return her to her native habitat.  The plan was designed and endorsed by scientists and experts in orca physiology, behaviour and acoustics.”
“On August 3, 2011, a group of activists supporting Morgan scored a victory in an Amsterdam court. The group, called Orca Coalition, went to court to prevent Morgan from being sent to Loro Parque. They won their case against the Dutch government ministry responsible for Morgan, and therefore Morgan won’t be sent off to the Canary Islands. However, she will still remain in a tank in Harderwijk, and her long-term fate is still unknown. It will depend on the activists and the dolphinarium working together to find a solution.” More information is also available through The Orca Coalition.

Morgan in her tank

Location of Morgan’s family.

Seven of the nine call types produced by Morgan the orca have now been matched, i.e., 77.7%. These call types been matched to NP (33%) and P (77.7%) Norwegian orca groups, with a further nine groups matched to one or more calls .
Such high match rates clearly illustrate that Morgan’s extended family have been identified.
Given previous concerns by some parties that Morgan can only be returned to the wild if her family is identified, these results demonstrate that such an argument is no longer valid. This is especially the case given that only “likely” and “possible” matches are included in these results, and attempts to match Morgan’s calls were only made to calls of known groups (i.e., there remains unanalyzed data from unknown orca groups).
Additionally, there remain substantial databases of orca calls from Norway which have yet to be analyzed and both reports state that the full repertoire of Morgan may not have been collected. Orca have been present in the proposed rehabilitation location for the past six months and still remain in the area.
It is vital that Morgan is returned to Norwegian waters, without delay, to enable her rehabilitation to begin and her ultimate return to her family to be possible. (The full document can be found here).

“…. we do consider it likely that Morgan is either from group P or a group closely related to group P.”
Although scientists use sophisticated instruments to document the difference in orca vocalizations, with a little practice you can hear the difference yourself.  The following recordings were made of the orcas that live in the Salish Sea (the waterway that bridges British Columbia, Canada and Washington state in the U.S.) and shows the difference among the whale groups that live here.

Recordings like these were used to determine the family of the lost orca Springer, enabling her successful return to her family in 2003.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Reply