Joseph Turner, Global Animal
(WHALES/TAKE ACTION) NETHERLANDS — Last week, we urged Global Animals to help free the orca named Morgan from the Dolfinarium in Harderwijk. By posing as her caregiver, the Dolfinarium hopes to keep Morgan — at least long enough to sell her. Luckily, a Dutch court halted Morgan’s transfer from the Dolfinarium to the entertainment park Loro Parque located in Tenerife, Spain.
In addition, the court ordered for Morgan to be immediately moved to a larger living space where she can interact with other animals. Furthermore, the court suspended any other action from taking place until the Dolfinarium, the government, and the animal rights activists conduct more research and work toward preparing a living solution for Morgan.
While Morgan remains under the Dolfinarium’s watch, the Orca Coalition, one of the groups vouching for Morgan’s freedom, is pleased with the court’s ruling. The Dolfinarium did not impress the judge, which allows the orca’s supporters to continue the fight for her freedom.
The Free Morgan scientists have a plan to help reintroduce Morgan into the wild. This plan calls for Morgan to be transferred to an artificial bay near Rotterdam, which would simulate her experience in the wild. Later she would be electronically tagged, practice following a boat, and come to the boat when called. During these exercises, if she happens to connect with a group of orcas, researchers would allow her to stay with the other whales and continue to monitor her movements.
However, the Dolfinarium will fight to keep Morgan and try to justify holding her captive for “scientific” or “educational” purposes when, in fact, it will house her for commercial reasons as demonstrated by the intention to ship Morgan to Loro Parque. Moreover, since discovering Morgan, the Dolfinarium has engaged in unethical actions as they supposedly help the whale recover. Although Morgan was malnourished and dehydrated while swimming near the Black Sea coast a year ago, the Dolfinarium did not have pretext to hold her indefinitely since the law requires that she be returned to sea.
Rather than returning Morgan to the wild after recovery, the Dolfinarium, supposedly caring for the ill orca, displayed her to the public five weeks after her capture. If Morgan is deemed healthy enough to be exhibited, why is she not considered healthy enough to return home? By presenting Morgan to the public, the Dolfinarium seems to be prepping her for a life of imprisonment at an entertainment park rather than for a speedy return to the wild.
While the Dolfinarium suggests that “the release of Morgan would be murder,” we beg to differ. Orcas tend to live between 50 and 90 years in the wild but only 10 years in captivity.
If you would like to help Morgan, demand her release by writing to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation and to the Dolfinarium at: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation: Minister Bleker and Dienst Regelingen, Mr R.C.W. Aigner Postbus 20401 2500 CM The Hague The Netherlands
Or send a fax to: +31.70.3786127