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.