In June of 2010 a small young orca was found swimming alone in the sea off the coast of the Netherlands. Because it was thought she might be ill, she was captured and brought to the Harderwijk Dolfinarium, about an hour from Amsterdam. This little orca was named Morgan. The Dutch government permitted her capture on the basis that she would be rehabilitated and then released back to the wild.
However its now been 9 months that Morgan has been held, alone in a tiny tank…
Not long after capturing her, the Dolfinarium changed its story, and now claims that Morgan can’t return to the wild after all. Her DNA shows that she is from a Norwegian group of herring-eating orcas. Moreover, there is no evidence that Morgan would not survive if she is returned to the wild. Other young fish-eating orcas have survived on their own. In fact, if Morgan is brought back to Norway, her chances for a full life in the wild are excellent. But her future in an aquarium is not so bright. Abundant scientific research demonstrates that captive conditions have numerous harmful effects on orcas resulting in poor survivorship.
The truth? FOLLOW THE MONEY. Because the public is increasingly critical of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, and particularly of captures of wild cetaceans–the industry likes to obtain rare or valuable specimens by claiming to “rescue” them and then determining they cannot be released. In this way they can paint themselves as “good guys” in the eyes of the paying public, while obtaining an animal that in the case of Morgan is worth MILLIONS of dollars, as a breeding asset. Morgan will be used to make more baby whales, to replace those always dying in captivity’s tanks and pools–unless we do something about it.
Orcas are worth their weight in gold to the captive industry and that is why they refuse to let Morgan return to a life of freedom in the ocean and a chance to reunite with her wild community–money.
Please visit the Free Morgan website to learn more about this forgotten whale and lend your voice and support for her freedom: http://www.freemorgan.com/
Don’t let Morgan die enclosed in concrete.
Photos by kind permission of Ute Margreff.