On June 23, 2010, a young female orca now named Morgan was found emaciated in the Wadden Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. The Dolfinarium Harderwijk in the Netherlands captured her and transported her to its facility under a permit specifically so that she could be rehabilitated for subsequent release. She recovered at the dolphinarium in just a few months.
During this time, a group of experts from the Free Morgan Foundation compared Morgan's unique calls to those of other orcas in the region and found that she most likely belonged to an orca population in the Norwegian Sea. The foundation developed a detailed plan for her rehabilitation, with the intent of reintroducing her to her pod.
But Morgan was never released back into the wild. Instead, she was shipped off to Loro Parque, a marine park in Tenerife, Spain, and for years, SeaWorld claimed to own her.
In 2017, after SeaWorld announced the end of orca breeding at its parks in the U.S., it quietly disowned Morgan and five others, rather than ensuring that orcas in Spain weren't bred. Morgan became pregnant that same year.
Even though, according to the Free Morgan Foundation, laws prohibit using Morgan for breeding, Loro Parque did just that. Newborn calves attract larger numbers of visitors, thereby boosting the park's profits. Like Morgan, the newborn will be housed in a prison-like tank filled with chemically treated water and will almost certainly be forced to perform tricks for human entertainment.
In the wild, orcas live in close-knit pods, often among their siblings, mothers, and grandmothers, for life. But at Loro Parque, Morgan's baby was separated from her and is being bottle-fed by staff.
Speak out for Morgan! Let the Spanish government know that you want to see the orcas imprisoned by Loro Parque be transferred to a coastal sanctuary, where Morgan can be rehabilitated for potential reintroduction to her home and family alongside her calf and the other five orcas from the marine park can live in as natural a setting as possible.