For two summers Arctic Whale Tours reports regularly sightings of orcas near the shores of Vesteralen, Norway. Morgan belongs to this population.
This is another example, coming from the Northern Residents orca population in BC Canada, which have a tight family structure and offspring travelled mostly their whole life with their mother. But this story shows again that Morgan do has a chance to find her own or an extended family! Sadness and sentiment – the start of summer 2011, by Orcalab:
A rare April encounter brought the first hint that the A5 pod might have suffered an unexpected loss. The young adult female, Nodales (A51), was not with her family, though all the A5 matrilines were present. She and her 2010 baby were both missing. Denial, and no further sightings of the group until much later, kept faint hope alive. Perhaps she had just been missed in the stormy seas that day. As Spring rolled on and the whales began to gather further north, there were more disturbing but not entirely confirmed dispatches regarding Nodales. The pod had by then dispersed into smaller groups, so it was still difficult to draw a firm conclusion. Tension grew and then reality set in as more reports were received. Nodales’ brother, Surge (A61) was observed travelling with his A5 cousins in the A8 matriline, and Nodales’ oldest, Codero (A85) was sighted travelling with Ripple (A43)’s family. It became increasingly likely that the family bonds Nodales had nourished had come apart, and that the survivors had found new homes.
Morgan remains in captivity because the Dolfinarium Harderwijk insists that her family can’t be found in the waters off Norway. However, we would like everyone to be aware of “Stumpy” a young orca from these very same waters. He apparently lost his mother and has been observed traveling with five different groups of orca. He has also been seen being provided food by these very same orca.
Such flexibility in orca society shows us that we still have much to learn about them. More to the point it also show that Morgan should be given the chance to return to the wild and the orca population which she came from. Here are two pages reproduced from the book by Stenerson and Similä, which describes their findings about Stumpy. Please spread the word that keeping Morgan from her family is not the real reason the Dolfinarium Harderwijk wants to keep Morgan, but rather her value to the captive orca industry for breeding.
Source: Stenersen, J., and Similä, T (2004). Norwegian Killer Whales. Tringa forlag ISBN: 8299457734