Morgan - orca

From WikiAnimal
Captive atLoro Parque Tenerife, Spain
Captured atWadden Sea, Netherlands
Capture ageApprox. 3 years
PodNorwegian P pod (?)
OriginWild born
Capture dateJune 23, 2010

On June 23, 2010, a fisherman spotted a very ill young orca swimming in the Wadden Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. A team from the Dolphinarium Harderwijk rescued her and brought her to their facility where they administered emergency medical treatment for extreme starvation as well as dehydration, and she was named Morgan.

The permit they were granted for her rescue also detailed that she was to be released as soon as possible. However, the Dolphinarium claimed that Morgan’s family could not be located, and so release would be impossible.

Many organizations, including the Free Morgan Foundation, continued advocating for her release and in 2011, released a report showing that 77.7% of Morgan's call types were matched to Norwegian P pod, meaning that a release was, indeed, a possibility.

However, due to the small size of the tank at Dolphinarium Harderwijk, they began searching for a new facility for her to stay at; though her stay at the Dolphinarium was extended a whole year due to lengthy court battles. Eventually, the court ruled that Morgan was to be moved to a new facility, resulting in her move to Loro Parque in Spain.

Upon her arrival, Morgan was introduced to Adán and Skyla. Eventually, she was introduced to the oldest female, Kohana, and the parks older males, Tekoa and Keto. In 2012, Loro Parque announced that Morgan is partially deaf and “barely responds” to whistle cues; but can be seen in YouTube videos performing behaviors, and often responding to whistle cues immediately.

While activists continued the legal fight to try and release Morgan, New Zealand orca researcher, Dr. Ingrid Visser, visited Loro Parque in June 2012 and documented multiple instances of aggression directed mainly towards Morgan. Visser photographed Morgan self-mutilating by banging her head against tank walls and chewing on the concrete. Photographs from Visser also show Morgan being attacked relentlessly by Kohana and Skyla. Morgan has also sometimes been locked in a tank alone with Keto, who is extremely sexually aggressive toward Morgan and will consistently chase her around the tank in an attempt to penetrate her.

On April 23, 2014, after yet another lengthy court battle, the Council of State ruled that Morgan’s transfer to Loro Parque was legal. They also ruled that since her family had not been located and Morgan was very young, it was unclear if Morgan could survive if she were to be released.

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