Animal rights activists have again called for the release ‘Dutch’ orca Morgan after the young animal was filmed deliberately beaching herself at an amusement park on Tenerife.
US organisation Dolphin Project said that Morgan had been seen outside the pool for at least 10 minutes. This is strange behaviour for an animal which can suffer internal damage if it spends too much time out of the water, the organisation said on its website.
‘While we cannot explain the reason for her behaviour, the juxtaposition of a previously-wild orca against the stark backdrop of the park’s performance area is unsettling to say the least,’ the website sasid.
Morgan was found in a severely weakened state in the Wadden Sea and she was nursed back to health at the Dolphinarium in Harderwijk. Although activists say she was brought into the Dutch facility on a ‘capture, rehabilitation and release’ permit, she was then transported to Loro Parque on the Spanish island and trained to perform tricks.
In 2014, the Dutch Council of State ruled this decision was correct as there was no ‘realistic alternative’ or possibility to release her into the wild: Morgan’s family group had not been tracked, they said, and they believed she was too young to find enough food for herself.
Javier Almunia, the director of environmental affairs at the Loro Parque Foundation, told The Telegraph Morgan is merely repeating exercises being taught by trainers.
‘It is play,’ he said. ‘So you can see Morgan in this case sliding out of the pool, a move she does to get onto the stage or onto the scales when she is being weighed.’
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