Once again, the Netherlands administrative and judicial authorities have handed down eight legal rulings, with decisions against the complaints made by the activist organisation Free Morgan Foundation (FMF). On this last occasion, the Ultrecht Court ruled that the CITES decision (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) granted to Morgan by the Dutch authorities was in accordance with the law and was granted in accordance with both European Community and CITES regulations. Likewise, the aforementioned rulings, once again, and as all the judicial and administrative authorities have repeatedly stated, highlights anew that Loro Parque has the highest quality facilities, offering the animals in them excellent welfare conditions, including both the orca Morgan and the rest of the pod of orcas in our Parque.
For Loro Parque, it is very important that both the judicial and administrative bodies with competence in this area recognise and highlight the excellent conditions of our Parque, because these affirmations come from bodies and authorities that are absolutely impartial and independent, and this, despite the continuous and denigrating campaigns of these radical groups that constantly strive to defame and discredit us with their lies and falsehoods, distorting the truth, and showing clear contempt for the courts when they do not decide in their favour.
During this process, Loro Parque has made itself available to the CITES authority to provide all the information necessary. Now, in addition to reaffirming the Parque’s position, the ruling acknowledges that Morgan’s CITES permit does not exclude breeding and recognises that scientific and conservation activities are carried out with the killer whales in Loro Parque.
In the event that FMF decides to initiate a case in Spain, because they believe that Morgan is in poor form, it would be necessary to provide evidence. However, all previous reports and campaigns have demonstrated that the orcas in Loro Parque are in good condition, have one of the most modern facilities in the world, are cared for by qualified and experienced staff, and receive the most appropriate care for their species.
The orca Morgan has been in the care of Loro Parque since 2011. The decision to transfer her to OrcaOcean’s spacious and fully-equipped facilities in Loro Parque was taken in order to provide her with adequate living conditions and, in particular, to meet her needs for social interaction. It should be borne in mind that this decision was taken at that time by the Dutch authorities (based on the opinions of independent experts) because Morgan’s return to nature was an unviable option and the only other option for this animal was euthanasia.
Loro Parque is supported by all the relevant administrative bodies (CITES in the Netherlands and Spain, the Spanish Zoos Inspectorate and the Spanish animal welfare authorities), which reject FMF’s demands and interpretations of the CITES permit. Therefore, FMF is the only entity that supports the position of releasing the animal.
Morgan’s state of health
For the past six years, Morgan has been living in Loro Parque under the care of a team of veterinary professionals and caregivers; her overall condition is excellent. She has gained more than 1,100 kg since her arrival at the Parque and her size is now comparable to that of other females her age.
Although she was diagnosed as almost or completely deaf by an independent group of researchers, her caregivers have been able to establish a complete communication system using a network of lights – a pioneering and unique method worldwide, that has been developed for an orca with a disability. Thanks to the dedicated attention of her caregivers and this adapted system, she is able to join the group in all its activities despite her condition.
Morgan is completely integrated in the group and has established social relationships with all the orcas at Loro Parque.
As these rulings reaffirm, there is no restriction on Morgan’s ability to reproduce; as was declared in a letter from the Spanish CITES authority addressed a year ago to the Free Morgan Foundation. Morgan’s pregnancy is completely normal and is closely monitored by the team of veterinarians and carers in collaboration with independent consultants with extensive experience in cetaceans.
Loro Parque is an accredited zoological facility as defined by the European Zoos Directive, strictly following all applicable laws and regulations regarding this practice. Loro Parque is inspected annually by the competent authorities. Loro Parque also applies the highest standards in orca management, as accredited by the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the European Association of Aquatic Mammals, as well as by independent organizations such as American Humane, ABTA, Biosphere Parks, etc. In 2017, Loro Parque was awarded the title of Best Zoo in the World by the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
More information at: http://www.loroparque.com/morgan/