With financial assistance from Sam Simon, an American director, producer, writer, cartoonist, and philanthropist, Morgan will now have a chance to appeal the decision denying her the right to return to the ocean. Morgan was captured in the waters off the Netherlands, under a ‘rehabilitation and release’ permit.
Mr Simon comments “Quite simply, Morgan, an intelligent, highly social animal that used to swim 100 kilometres a day in the wild, has been illegally abducted by the captivity industry and is now forced to perform idiotic tricks in a bathtub. She must be returned to her family. This is probably her last chance.”
The Free Morgan Foundation, formed to help return this orca to the wild, states the capture permit was violated and has begun the legal process to appeal the decision to keep her in captivity. Morgan currently performs in front of paying visitors, at the German owned entertainment park Loro Parque, in Spain. The park has close ties with USA SeaWorld, who want to use Morgan for their breeding program. SeaWorld now apparently include Morgan as one of their own animals in their recent prospectus for the upcoming IPO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.
Dr Ingrid Visser, an orca scientist who has been an expert witness at the previous hearings and who is the Chairperson of the Free Morgan Foundation states; “I’ve personally seen Morgan being attacked many times by the other orca at Loro Parque. I have photographs of aggression and bite marks. Morgan chews on the concrete walls of her tank due to stress and boredom. She’s lost the top third of some of her teeth in just 19 weeks and is clearly suffering. Yet the park denies any issues.”
Simon recently donated funding for the anti-whaling organisation Sea Shepherd to enable them to purchase a new vessel in order to fight the poaching of whales in Antarctica by the Japanese.
He has previously funded a facility dedicated to rescuing and retraining stray dogs for adoption and as ‘service’ dogs for people in need.
Now his philanthropic support will give Morgan another chance to return to the ocean.