November 25, 2020

Dutch killer whale Morgan finds new home in Spain

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MADRID (AP) — A young killer whale at the centre of a legal battle waged by Dutch conservationists has arrived at its new home on the Canary Islands, a spokeswoman for a Spanish zoo said Wednesday.

The 1,400-kilogram (3,085-pound) female orca named Morgan arrived at Loro Parque on the island of Tenerife late Tuesday after being flown from the Netherlands, Patricia del Ponte said.

Photographs issued showed the whale being lowered by crane in a cloth hammock into a pool tank at
the park.

The estimated 3-year-old whale was rescued in shallow waters off the Netherlands in 2010.

The Dutch government permit that originally approved her capture said a Dutch dolphinarium could hold her and restore her health so she could
be released.

But after the dolphinarium assembled a team of experts for advice, it was found she had little chance of survival in the wild unless her natal pod, or family, could be identified. Authorities then decided it should be transferred to Loro Parque, which already has several orcas.

Opposing experts for the “Free Morgan” group said the dolphinarium was guided by financial interests, rather than concern for the animal’s well-being, and proposed a plan for reintroducing her to the wild.

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