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05 October 2018

Morgan Gives Birth

On the morning of Saturday, September 22nd, Morgan the orca gave birth. An orca being born should be a happy event, but no one is celebrating, except perhaps those that will make money from exploiting this new baby orca in captivity.

Why isn’t this good news?

In November 2011, a wild orca from Norway was shipped to a marine park in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. This young female orca was named Morgan, she had been found alone and malnourished off the coast of the Netherlands in 2010. She was taken to the dolphinarium in Harderwijk to be nursed back to health and then released back into the wild.  But she wasn’t released back to wild….instead she was shipped to a tank in Tenerife where she is held in captivity, forced to perform in shows at a theme park called Loro Parque, together with five other orcas. The other orcas have not accepted Morgan and she has suffered in this confined space.

Then, in December 2017 it was announced that Morgan was pregnant and now she has had her baby this further prolongs the cycle of orcas in captivity. Morgan’s baby is very unlikely to ever be released, because he or she (we still don’t know) will have mixed genes - the male orcas at Loro Parque are of Icelandic origin while Morgan comes from a population living in the waters off Norway and was born in captivity. To make things even more difficult, Morgan wasn't with her original orca family in the wild long enough to learn how to look after a baby – she was practically a baby herself when she was taken into captivity. Previous orcas born at Loro Parque have had to be hand-reared by staff and one died.

WDC is working hard to ensure that other orcas do not suffer in the same way that Morgan has and now she and her little baby continue to do.

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