Loro Parque’s statement on the Zembla programme and Morgan’s story

Loro Parque was made aware of the broadcast of a documentary on Morgan’s story, in which we participated, having opened our doors to the Zembla programme on the national television to show all the concerned Dutch viewers about the care and the love that all our personnel feel for Morgan, and how well she has integrated into the group of orcas at Loro Parque.

We salute to the fact that the Zembla programme commemorated the 10th anniversary of Morgan’s transfer to Loro Parque by telling the success story of saving an orca from certain death, and the great news that ten years later Morgan is now one of Loro Parque’s orca family. This is the best proof that all the criticisms of the Free Morgan Foundation were completely unfounded and not based on science.

It is, nevetheless, astonishing that the Free Morgan Foundation is now trying to make the Dutch public believe that Loro Parque is contravening court decisions, when all judicial instances (more than 10 judgements in the Netherlands and two rulings of the European Parliament) have insisted that everything has been done according to the law. The latest Raad van State judgment on Morgan in 2018 (Judgment 201804732/1/A3) clearly recognises in its paragraph 3.3:

“Furthermore, the Court has considered that what FMF has alleged about the use of Morgan for commercial purposes was already known at the time of the issuance of the CE certificate and therefore cannot lead to the conclusion that the CE certificate has been issued in false belief. Since the section in the judgment of 23 April 2014 determined that the commercial activities that Loro Parque performs, do not undermine the fact that Loro Parque performs research and educational activities.” In other words, Free Morgan Foundation has known since 2014 that the Dutch courts do not agree with their acclamations, and still insists and disseminates incorrect information, which has not been duly checked by the TV channel before broadcasting the program.

Loro Parque NEVER requested the transfer of Morgan. It was the Harderwijk Dolphinarium and the Dutch Government who asked Loro Parque to integrate Morgan into their group of orcas to avoid her death by euthanasia. The fact that Morgan’s CITES permit was issued

for scientific and educational activities (the Free Morgan Foundation always selfishly omits the educational aspect) was done to avoid her otherwise imminent death and not to justify her capture. Even so, court rulings show that Loro Parque complies with the research and educational activities that were used as an argument to avoid Morgan’s death. It is therefore categorically untrue that Loro Parque is carrying out unlawful activities in relation to Morgan.

We urge the Zembla programme, in accordance with the minimum standards of journalistic ethics, to review in detail all court rulings in the Morgan case, in particular the Raad van State ruling (Ruling 201804732/1/A3), so that it can verify that the participation of Morgan in public presentations was known to the Free Morgan Foundation, the Dutch government and the various judicial bodies, was never hidden or secret, nor was it a breach of the conditions for issuing the CITES permit, as the ruling itself acknowledges. All Dutch courts have recognised that Loro Parque carries out research and educational activities.

Loro Parque has always complied with all the rules and requirements of Morgan’s CITES permit. Thanks to the knowledge and experience of the professionals of Harderwijk, and the personnel of Loro Parque, Morgan is alive and her euthanasia was avoided. For all of us this is a success story, and we will continue to work for her most optimal wellbeing and welfare.

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