Twitter is lighting up right now with calls to #FreeMorgan, a young female orca being held at a controversial Spanish sea-park for the amusement of fee-paying tourists. Morgan is kept on display despite EU laws that prohibit using orcas for "primarily commercial purposes."
A shocking video on the internet this week shows Morgan attempting to beach herself for more than 10 minutes. She has a history of self-harm, and in April, Morgan was caught in another video repeatedly slamming against a steel cage door in an apparent attempt to escape.
The Free Morgan Foundation has kept a candle burning for years, gathering evidence and never giving up hope. If we add our voices now, we can show Morgan's captors that we mean business -- just like we showed SeaWorld and won!
Morgan lives in captivity in Loro Parque, a tourist attraction in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, part of the global multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. In 2006, Loro Parque received four young orcas on loan from the notorious SeaWorld Entertainment in the US.
Morgan’s initial capture was only permitted under a “rescue, rehabilitation and release” license -- but the last two parts of that permit were never observed. Keeping an animal like Morgan -- who knows what it’s like to swim in the open ocean -- under such duress knowing that she was supposed to be set free makes her captivity all the more difficult to bear.
The Free Morgan Foundation and Expert Board drafted a comprehensive Rehabilitation and Release Plan for Morgan. Other orcas have been rehabilitated and released. But Loro Parque needs to feel the eyes of the world, or it will just carry on business as usual.
We won an historic victory against SeaWorld earlier this year when it finally agreed to end its harmful captive breeding program and transition out of using noble and intelligent cetaceans in its live shows. But dozens of SeaWorld's orcas remain in captivity. And the harsh, unforgiving reality of that life is borne out by Morgan’s disturbing and tragic behaviour.