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While SeaWorld recently made the incredible announcement that it will no longer breed its orca whales in captivity, concerns are growing over the fate of its wild-born orca, Morgan, who is on loan at Loro Parque, a marine park tourist attraction, on the Spanish island of Tenerife.

Morgan was captured off the Dutch coast in 2010 when she was found in a severely weakened state, and was nursed back to health at the Dolphinarium in Harderwijk, the Netherlands. Although she was brought into the Dutch facility on a “capture, rehabilitation and release” permit, she was then transported to Loro Parque, where she has remained. The Dutch council ruled that without her mother, she would not be able to find food for herself and, therefore, could not survive in the wild. However, Morgan is no longer a baby calf, and activists say that life in captivity is driving her mad. Campaigners including the Free Morgan Foundation and The Born Free Foundation are calling for the orca to be released to a sea pen as she has been terrorized by other orcas while in captivity and shows “evidence of self mutilation, caused by repeatedly banging her head.”

In a short film, called “I am Morgan – Stolen Freedom,” director Heiko Grimm explains that Morgan was considered valuable as she potentially introduced a new blood line to widely in-bred orcas, but since SeaWorld will no longer breed its killer whales in captivity, activists are now stepping up their call to retire Morgan to a sea pen, and fulfill the “release” portion of the original intent of her capture.

Morgan’s family has been located in the wild and activists say she could be a successful release candidate. If you’d like to help, The Free Morgan Foundation has put forward a variety of suggestions including writing letters to Hinderk “Henk” Bleker the State Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation asking for her release.

The most important thing you can do for marine animals is to not support their captivity. Without patrons supporting orca shows, these facilities can not exist. You can also lend your name to this Change.org petition. Above all share this article and encourage others to speak up for Morgan!

Featured image source: AFP

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37 comments on “This Orca Was Meant for Rescue and Release … But Has Spent Past 6 Years on Display in Marine Park”

Click to add comment
Cindy Corker
7 Months Ago

Shame on anyone involved in this. Remember what goes around comes around.

Bea Gustafson
7 Months Ago


Gary Dovel
7 Months Ago

Put it back in the water

Charlie Smith
7 Months Ago

Free Morgan!!

Eric Rivers
7 Months Ago


Andrew Ehrenberger
7 Months Ago

I question her ability to actually survive in the wild.

Craig Taylor
7 Months Ago

Let him go you flipping morons!!! For goodness sake we don't need him in a pool to look at!!!! Really makes me angry!!

Mihalis Mahon
24 Mar 2016

But not angry enough to actually read the article, apparently. Morgan is a young girl.

Jeremy Cresswell
7 Months Ago

poor bastard

Kathleen Haase
7 Months Ago

Please write an E-Mail or letter to SeaWorld and ask them to release Morgan. Instructions can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/british-airways-stop-selling-trips-to-seaworld-end-your-support-for-these-cruel-orca-circuses/u/15914114

Jas Bhogal
7 Months Ago

Freeman Morgan!


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