“Morgan is a young female orca, or killer whale, who was captured in the Wadden Sea, off the north coast of the Netherlands, on June 23, 2010. Orcas live throughout the world’s oceans, but are rarely seen in the Wadden Sea; the last recorded sighting off the Dutch coast was in 1947.
Morgan was taken to the Harderwijk Dolfinarium in the Netherlands. She was fed fish and given antibiotics. On June 29, the dolphinarium announced that she would have to stay in captivity for 3 to 6 months. On July 5, it was announced that she was in good health.
On August 3, the dolphinarium invited the public to see Morgan. Throughout the summer, and until the facility closed for the season in late October, visitors streamed in to see Morgan, who quickly became the star attraction. She was advertised on the dolphinarium’s website, and she attracted many visitors. The nearest captive orcas in Europe are in Antibes, France, more than 1000 miles away.
Estimates of Morgan’s age when captured range from 2 to 4 years. She is still young for an orca. However, there is no evidence to suggest that she would not be able to survive in the wild. There are two other cases of young orcas, Springer and Luna, who were both separated from their respective families at less than two years of age. Springer and Luna, who came from resident orca families that spend summers in the coastal waters of British Columbia and Washington state, were fully able to hunt for themselves. Therefore, the evidence shows that Morgan would also be able to catch her own fish.
Orcas are intensely social creatures. In many populations, they stay with their families their entire lives. European orca populations are spread across the waters off the UK, Ireland, Norway and Iceland. There is also a group which lives in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Researchers are confident that Morgan belongs to a Norwegian population of orcas, based on her distinct vocalizations” from Free Morgan Foundation
If you look at the photograph above, which was sent anonymously to the Free Morgan Foundation, you can see some injuries. It was hoped that this beautiful orca would be released but the court ruled during the past month, that she is to stay in captivity. The campaign to free her will continue and I will be following the story in 2013.
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I have been following the news on Morgan’s status. There truly is an urgent need for a change for this captive whale. Her dorsal fin has dropped significantly, she has been injured repeatedly by other larger whales (born in captivity) who are allowed in the same tank with her, she does not have adequate space to swim because her tank is too shallow and barely wide enough for her to make a turn, she is showing signs of severe despression and is vocalizing in distress. The aquarium in Spain (where she is currently located) doesn’t seem to care about the needs of the animals there and this whale and other sea mammals are living in the worst of conditions. All of their agony is in trade for the profit of ticket sales. The animal spirits are being completely disrespected, but that seems to be okay as long as humans are entertained.
Thank you for posting about this situation. Blessings on all who are investing time on behalf of animals in captivity. It is so important that we raise public awareness, influence empathy and compassion and provide education of the needs of these animals who cannot speak for themselves. ~Gerean Pflug, The Animal Spirits
Weekly posts regarding Morgan’s status can be found on Facebook:
Free Morgan on Facebook #1 ~ http://www.facebook.com/#!/freemorgan.org?fref=ts
Free Morgan on Facebook #2 ~ http://www.facebook.com/#!/freemorgan?fref=ts
Thank you Gerean! I will help to publicise her plight. She MUST be freed
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