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Morgan the orca to stay in Holland pending further research

Wednesday 03 August 2011

Morgan the orca will not be moved to an amusement park in Tenerife pending further investigation into what should happen to her, a court in Amsterdam ruled on Wednesday.

Last week, the government gave an export licence to the Dolfinarium in Hardewijk, where Morgan has lived since being found in a severely weakened state in the Wadden Sea a year ago.

The court said the responsible minister, Henk Bleker, should look properly at what should happen to Morgan, rather than simply accept the Dolfinarium's decision. In addition, Morgan is to be moved to a bigger tank with dolphins for company.

Animal rights activists say Morgan should be released into the wild. 'We want the judge to give science a chance. Independent research will show that Morgan is very suitable for release,' a spokesman for The Orca Alliance told the Telegraaf last month.

Experts from the Dolfinarium said in December Morgan could not be returned to the wild because efforts to find her pod – or family – using her dna had failed.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Orca "whales" (actually, members of the dolphin family) are known to generations of Islanders (on "my" Island) as "blackfish." As a superbly-trained warrior in the Armed Forces, I note how intelligent orcas really are: There has never been a documented orca war - making them far smarter than humans!

By Drawer 22 | 3 August 2011 8:44 PM

Morgan was healthy within weeks of her rescue, yet not released. The Dolphinarium kept her in a tank, which is a direct violation of the law- which states rescued animals must be returned to the wild. Perhaps the fact that Morgan could be sold for a very high price influenced their decision to keep her & then conveniently announce that she was no longer suitable for release! The Dolphinarium is a profit making organisation & frankly should stop spreading misinformation & keeping a highly intelligent young Orca in a tiny confined concrete tank, charging peple money to see her! Of course the Dolphinarium dont want Morgan released- she makes money & apparently that is all they are concerned about!!

By ELLIE FAIRFAX WOOLER | 4 August 2011 12:05 AM

Morgan certainly was not healthily for release within a week of her rescue and pictures of her at that time show. She was severally malnourished and it took months for her to regain her weight. Harderwijk had permission to hold Morgan - the obligation to return her to the wild is based on the issue of if she would survive. This animal is not suitable for release and there is no bon fida independent research that this animal can be successfully release. I suggest those who wish to educated themselves read the scientific paper on ‘Keiko’: “From captivity to the wild and back: An attempt to release Keiko the killer whale” published in Marine Mammal Science in 2009.

By John Dineley | 4 August 2011 2:21 PM

It amazes me how many unqualified individuals there are out there claiming that this Orca is a prime candidate for release. If I were not such a lover of the species, I would almost wish that these groups of fanatics would be given the opportunity, as it would certainly be a failure, at least then it might serve the purpose of shutting them up to some extent. John, you said it beautifully, except the extremists, who are never wrong in their own minds, would tell you that Keiko's release was a resounding success. Forget the science, after all, human emotion is a better judge of success.

By Denise | 6 August 2011 10:56 PM

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