The third round of the court case to free the orca ‘Morgan’ from captivity at the Loro Parque entertainment park in Tenerife, Spain is set to begin on November 1, 2012.
Morgan was transported to Loro Parque from the Dolphinarium Harderwijk in Holland after being found alone and in poor physical condition in the Wadden Sea. Lawyers representing a coalition of seven Dutch NGOs (known as Orka Coalitie) and the Free Morgan Foundation will put the case to three judges that the permits used to transport Morgan to Loro Parque were executed incorrectly.
Legally, Morgan should only be kept in captivity if it is not in her best interest to be released. Experts including those from WDC, believe that Morgan is a suitable candidate for release into the wild and have developed a multistage release plan, which includes rehabilitating Morgan in a natural sea pen in Norway.
Morgan was only captured and taken to the Dolphinarium Harderwijk to receive medical care and be prepared for a return to the ocean. However, despite this, she ended up on public display. In November 2011, Morgan was transported to Loro Parque, a privately owned entertainment facility. There, she has to perform in public shows and has incurred injuries from other captive orca kept there.
Now, the judges must decide whether her continued captivity is in her best interest or rather in the best interest of the Dolphinarium Harderwijk and Loro Parque – both commercial businesses that make money from public performances involving captive marine mammals.