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Image: Peter Flood

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A new appeal which gives fresh hope for the release of Morgan the captive orca has been filed in the Netherlands.
 
Morgan was taken from the wild off the Dutch coast back in June 2010 but, instead of being released back (as agreed) into her natural habitat after she had returned to full health, she was put on public display in a small tank at the Harderwijk dolphinarium in the Netherlands, and eventually transported to the Loro Parque facility in Spain in November 2011 where she now has to perform tricks for food in shows to entertain the public.
 
WDC, part of the Free Morgan Group, fought hard to have Morgan returned to the wild but a court ruling in December, 2012 stated that Morgan was to remain at Loro Parque on the island of Tenerife. Part of the reasoning behind this decision was that Loro Parque is listed as a zoo and so there was some ‘educational’ value in keeping Morgan at the theme park.

However, thanks in part to a report from WDC and the Born Free Foundation, there now seems to be new hope in sight.

In that report, WDC points out that being listed as a zoo doesn’t necessarily mean the dolphinaria meet legal requirements, and that shows involving Morgan may not be educational. Photographs and observations from Loro Parque show that Morgan has been rammed, bitten and attacked by the other orcas and has been seen banging her chin on the concrete walls and chewing on the concrete of the tanks, resulting in her teeth being worn off.
 
An appeal against Morgan’s’ continued capture has now been filed in the Netherlands by the Orka Coalitie (consisting of Dutch campaign groups) and the Free Morgan Foundation and we await a date for the appeal hearing.