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Judge Rules Morgan should be moved to Loro Parque ASAP.

November 21, 2011

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 29, 2011: As The Orca Project reports below, Morgan’s fate has been sealed. On November 29, 2011 despite valiant and heroic efforts of supporters, the young female orca was transferred from the Dutch dolphinarium to Loro Parque in the Spanish Canary Islands where she will join 5 SeaWorld-owned orcas. Read below for more info on this year-long battle for her freedom.

Today, a disappointing and shocking decision was made by the Judge in the case of Morgan, a juvenile orca found alone June 23, 2010 in Dutch waters.  She is to be moved to Loro Parque in Tenerife, Spain as soon as possible, even though a site for her sea-pen was located and warmly welcomed by the locals. There are wild orca in the area and more than likely, her family nearby.  Read more on the proposed site here.

Via Free Morgan on FaceBook: “The judge ruled that Morgan must be shipped asap to Loro Parque, because there is no socialization possible with the dolphins in Dolfinarium, because they have herpes!! What a shame. The Dolfinarium hadn’t told the judge the first court case about it so they could keep Morgan there instead of Neeltje Jans. “

Loro Parque is where trainer Alexis Martinez was killed by Keto (a SeaWorld whale) in December of 2009. See Tim Zimmermann’s story, Blood in the Water, for more information.

In all likelihood, Morgan will end up being another breeding whale for SeaWorld. She will be bred younger and more frequently that what is normal for wild whales – she may end up with the same fate as Gudrun and Taima – both SeaWorld whales who died from complications due to difficult births.  ~ Former Killer Whale trainer, Samantha Berg ~  Read Samantha’s interview here from last year about what happened with Gudren and Taima.

In addition,  you can read a post here we did at The Orca Project on Morgan nearly one year ago.  At that time we thought she was destined for captivity.  However, after having all the evidence presented to the judge in why Loro Parque is an inhumane choice, most of us were hopeful if not certain the verdict would be for her rehabilitation.  It makes one wonder why the judge made this particular ruling?

The Orca Project would like to thank all of you who fought so hard for her liberation.  We also want to say, we know how passionate Free Morgan as well as Ingrid Visser Ph.D who will never stop fighting for her.  This is not the end of this story.  Our hearts go out to Morgan, and all who have been working so hard.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. OrcasAreLife permalink
    December 23, 2013 3:53 pm

    So what do you guys think we should do about this? How much money should we raise to have her released back to her home?

  2. OrcaLuvr'09 permalink
    January 24, 2013 4:56 pm

    I agree, Morgan should have been released while she could have been. But being moved to Loro Parque to be with other orcas is better than staying at Dolfinarium Harderwijk all alone.

  3. Mike Calvert permalink
    December 15, 2012 7:48 am

    Who is the Judge, what is his name, let’s petition the judge and send letter’s to demand the whale’s release or the judges removal from the bench!

  4. November 25, 2011 9:07 pm

    This is an atrocity! But don’t forget that the fight for Morgan’s freedom is not over. We won’t rest until she is free.

  5. November 22, 2011 12:08 pm

    The most unfortunate thing to consider here is the fact that Loro Parque is one of the worst places for Morgan to go if she is to develop well socially and mentally to prepare her for the inevitable breeding they will be doing with her. There are no mature females there and the only female to give birth there so far rejected her calf and seems none too interested in being a good parent for the near future given her behavior. The social dynamics there also will not help her develop good behavioral tendencies both towards staff and towards other orcas. Any of the more stable groups in captivity would have been better for her, plus the staff at Loro Parque seems to be of questionable experience and competence (Sea World themselves said that in court).

    Since the orca project has drawn a comparison between Gudrun and Taima and Morgan’s situation I’ll also add that I’m surprised the Orca Project (and Samantha in her interview) never talked about Taima’s extreme aggression she exhibited towards her first two calves and even towards other orcas after she had her second. There was a reason she was separated from the main group and kept with Tilikum or alone for almost 5 years. Not only was she bred too young and too quickly they did so after she exhibited this extremely aggressive behavior towards her first and subsequent offspring. She continued to have aggressive behavioral problems until she died and it’s really quite questionable why they continued to breed her like they did (especially when they were taking this risk to waste her unique genes with more Tilikum babies choking up their gene pool).

    While Morgan may not be quite like Gudrun or Taima the real fact is that she is a female, and this means that only by having offspring directly can Morgan benefit their gene pool. If she was a male they could just AI other females or allow natural breeding which is much less taxing on the male involved. With the precedents Sea World and Loro Parque have set for breeding females at extremely young ages and breeding them frequently it’s quite worrisome what Morgan may go through since she is so valuable to their very small gene pool; as the more calves they can get out of her before she dies the better. The fact she is being placed in probably the worst social group possible to learn mature well and be a good mother is also worrisome. Unless something changes, Morgan may end up rejecting her own future calves because she won’t know any better, or worse, she may develop aggressive tendencies with her offspring given the system of bullying that seems to exist at Loro Parque currently. Maybe there’s more in common with Gudrun’s family than I thought.

  6. November 22, 2011 8:05 am

    another “judge” sold his soul to the company store ……

  7. November 22, 2011 12:44 am

    For some reason, the saddest thing to me is that she’s going to be bred until she dies. And unless I missed it somehwere, why was everyone comparing her to Keiko? Her situation was closer to Springer’s, and Keiko may have died but so far as I know Springer is still alive and well.

  8. Kristin permalink
    November 21, 2011 7:17 pm

    I’m heartbroken to hear this verdict. This is heartless and unnecessary. She is being violated and stripped of a life.

  9. Lynn Rubin permalink
    November 21, 2011 6:55 pm

    I’m truly disappointed and saddened by what’s happening to Morgan, big tears just poured out of my eyes, such a sad time for Morgan

  10. November 21, 2011 5:24 pm

    This is such a violation of Morgan, of civil discourse, of science and truth, it seriously sucks. I hope it galvanizes public opinion to avoid those places like the plague they are. Grrr.

  11. keepwhaleswild permalink
    November 21, 2011 4:38 pm

    I am speechless !!

  12. rita permalink
    November 21, 2011 2:31 pm

    is there any form of appeal ? can we still fight? i dont want to accept it is over, nor all who fought should accept it. pls lets keep fighting for these unfortunate animals. please.

  13. November 21, 2011 12:14 pm

    Damn SeaWorld! There is no sea in their world, just money. Another cash cow on the way!

  14. November 21, 2011 11:33 am

    I can’t help but see the parallels between Morgan (now that this is to be her fate) and Lolita. Will Spain have any say in the matter once she is transferred?

  15. Nancy Usaitynski permalink
    November 21, 2011 11:26 am

    I am so sad and angry…why do humans feel we have dominion over these animals? There was such a reasonable alternative for Morgan but in the end it’s the power of money that prevails…Is there anything else that can be done?

  16. November 21, 2011 11:23 am

    I am absolutely heart broken over this decision 😦

  17. Theresa permalink
    November 21, 2011 10:53 am

    Disgusting they are not thinking of Morgans best interests .. it all about the money!!

  18. November 21, 2011 10:48 am

    We had so much hope for Morgan and I am so sad for her.

  19. CryForOrcas permalink
    November 21, 2011 10:34 am

    Judge Ben Welsch. You are now on my blacklist.

  20. MorgansHeart permalink
    November 21, 2011 10:27 am

    WHY? I’m absolutely speechless!!!!!!

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