Dutch killer whale Morgan gets new home

2011-11-30 16:39

Madrid - A young killer whale at the centre of a legal battle waged by Dutch conservationists has arrived at its new home on the Canary Islands, a spokesperson for a Spanish zoo said on Wednesday.

The 1 400kg female orca named Morgan arrived at Loro Parque on the island of Tenerife late on Tuesday after being flown from the Netherlands, Patricia del Ponte said.

Photographs issued showed the whale being lowered by crane in a cloth hammock into a pool tank at the park.

The estimated 3-year-old whale was rescued in shallow waters off the Netherlands in 2010.

The Dutch government permit that originally approved her capture said a Dutch dolphinarium could hold her and restore her health so she could be released.

But after the dolphinarium assembled a team of experts for advice, it was found she had little chance of survival in the wild unless her natal pod, or family, could be identified. Authorities then decided it should be transferred to Loro Parque, which already has several orcas.

Opposing experts for the "Free Morgan" group said the dolphinarium was guided by financial interests, rather than concern for the animal's well-being, and proposed a plan for reintroducing her to the wild.

International treaties prohibit the trade of killer whales - which are actually classified as ocean going dolphins - without special permits. Fewer than 50 orcas are held in captivity worldwide and the bulk of them are owned by SeaWorld, a subsidiary of US private equity giant the Blackstone.

A female capable of breeding and introducing new genes into the pool of captive orcas is worth millions of euros.

Loro Parque said it would provide a home for the orca along with the five others it has.

  • april.anjard - 2011-12-01 10:59

    Poor Morgan....just another highly intelligent Orca taken from her family and forced into slavery. Sea World is nothing but money hungry Molesters....and yes these are Sea World Orca that are in this park and they want her for breeding and make money ONLY! They found her family she could have gone home, they care nothing for her she is just a cash cow. I cant tell you how sick this makes me and how much I cry for her!

  • Sandy - 2011-12-01 13:42

    I agree totally with you April. I makes me sick. Poor Morgan didn't have a chance from the very beginning.

  • gudrun.wiesflecker - 2011-12-01 16:52

    I'm ashamed to be a human, what right have the Dolfinarium Harderwijk in their arrogance to decide this when such clear facts have been presented as to her ability to survive in the ocean with good guidance and help.We are supposed to be guardians of our planet not arrogant owners!! Morgan is not the property of the dolphinarium Harderwijk or $eaWorld, she is a wild animal. When the Dolfinarium Harderwijk was given a CITES import license for Morgan when she was off the Dutch coast it was for rescue \ capture, rehabilitation and release. So why is it .... they familarised her with humans, particularly for getting her food, provide her with "training" like sessions and after 5 weeks put her on public display ? This was toally inappropriate actions as it violated key concepts in the Springer protocol, named after the successful capture and release to the wild of a similar young orca, 10 years ago. After 4 months Morgan was well and a stage release could have started instead 18 months the case continues. Is it the Dolfinarium Harderwijk are not the experts they claim, even though this is what it's offshoot charity SOS Dolfin does, is it they can't find or read these well known papers or is it that they planned all along to keep her in captivity ? God Bless Morgan. What a sad life to be a SLAVE at that disgusting Loro Parque. Shame on you $eaWorld, Dolfinarium Harderwijk and Loro Parque, you all are liars!

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