11 August 2011
Just over a year ago, a young wild orca was found in distress in the Wadden Sea, off the coast of northwestern continental Europe. Morgan, as she has been named, was taken to an artificial pool at the Harderwijk Dolphinarium in the Netherlands, where she would reportedly be ‘rehabilitated’ for release back to the wild.
However, as the months went on, doubt has been cast as to Harderwijk Dolphinarium’s plans for Morgan. It recently emerged that there was a plan underway to send Morgan to another captive facility called Loro Parque, in Tenerife, Spain.
Along with the huge outcry from orca experts and marine organisations, Born Free raised concern regarding this planned transfer with the Netherlands Permanent Representative to the EU. Loro Parque, included in Infozoos investigation into zoos in the Canary Islands, already holds three orcas in small and unnatural pools.
Although an export permit had been granted by the Dutch Ministry in July, thankfully, pressure from concerned groups, particularly www.orkacoalitie.nl, and individuals has lead to a court ruling halting the transfer. However, for now, Morgan must remain at Harderwijk Dolphinarium, while the Ministry investigates further the possibilities of releasing Morgan back into the wild.
Please write a polite letter of concern about Morgan's situation, encouraging his rehab and release, to The State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in the Netherlands at:
Dr. Henk Bleker,
The State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
Ministerie van LNV Postbus 20401
2500 EK Den Haag, Netherlands
For further information concerning captive whales and dolphins please visit our pages here.