New Evidence

New Evidence for Morgan’s Court Case

The Free Morgan Foundation has prepared reports, now submitted to the Amsterdam Court, These are for the hearing on the 1st of November 2012. This hearing will investigate the findings of the first two cases and decide the merits of the case.

Photos Extracted from Visser (2012) – Captions Are Directly from the Report

Figure 6. Morgan (head out of water, on right) as she is rammed and pushed backwards by the two female orca, Skyla and Kohana. Note the amount of water being displaced as Morgan is forced backwards.

Focus on Mistreatment of Morgan

Our evidence focuses on how mistreated Morgan is at Loro Parque and how detrimental this is to her health. We include photographs showing her being rammed, bitten and attacked (see some examples below).

Our reports are based on more than 77 hours of observations on Morgan. Although Loro Parque will claim that these attacks are ‘normal’, you can read in the supporting letters from orca scientists, that this is not the case, particularly in the wlid.

In a comparative study, of captive orca, who were observed for 78 days (not hours!), only eight events involving aggression were recorded. This is in comparison to the 91 attacks observed which involved Morgan.

Trainers Ignore Morgan’s Attacks

Figure 7. The full-frame photograph of Figure 6. Note the trainers standing to the right. During all the attacks recorded by the author the trainers were present, yet ignored them.

Reports from External Scientists

Additionally, we present here reports by external scientists about the orca from Norway (where Morgan is from), letters of concern from orca scientists and correspondence between Dr Visser and Loro Parque and Dr Visser and Dr Ridgway.

Morgan Rammed and Attacked

Figure 8. Skyla (female orca, left, obscured by gate) rams Morgan (right) and partially lifts her out of the water. NOTE: Morgan’s lower caudal peduncle is concave from force of ramming (at impact site). Water is displaced at impact site & on Morgan’s left (right of frame). Morgan weighs 1364 kg, requiring her be to hit with a substantial force, in order for her to be lifted out of the water this high.

Trainers Do Nothing to Prevent Attacks & Keep Morgan with Dysfunctional Orca

Figure 11. During a training session, Morgan (partially obscured behind rail), rises out of the water in an attempt to avoid a bite from one of the two orca in the tank with her (Skyla and Kohana). This photo is one of a sequence of images, showing the open mouth and teeth progressed along Morgan’s body as she rose up and then slid down, to try to avoid the conflict.

Stereotypic Behavior Results in Morgan Damaging Herself

Figure 23. Morgan exhibits a hypertrophic scar on her lower jaws, most likely a result of repeatedly banging her chin on the concrete walls. Such stereotypic behaviour can become self mutilating to the point where the subcutaneous injury can become painful and itchy. Further damage to Morgan’s rostrum through stereotypic behaviour inflicted on (2 July 2012). The trainers (on the day she inflicted these wounds and after they were inflicted) commanded her to push a ball repeatedly on the end of rostrum, in order to receive her allocated fish. Also note that the tips of Morgan’s teeth are being worn off from chewing on the concrete (also see Figure 24).

Visser (2012) Report On The Physical Status of Morgan At Loro Parque

Court Documents & Supporting Evidence


Visser, Court presentation “Distressing situation for Morgan at Loro Parque”


Submitted Documents (alphabetical)

Pozzato, L. (2012) “Refuting the “Report on the introduction of a rescued Orcinus orca individual into the OrcaOcean group” by F. J. Almunia Portolés”

Trouwborst, Caddell & Couzens (2012). To Free or Not to Free? State Obligations and the Rescue and Release of Marine Mammals: A Case Study of ‘Morgan the Orca’. In Press Journal of Transnational Environmental Law.

Visser, I.N. (2012) “Report on the Physical & Behavioural Status of Morgan, the Wild-Born Orca held in Captivity, at Loro Parque, Tenerife, Spain”

Vester, H. (2012) “Re-sighting over a seventeen year period, of an orca known as “Stumpy” Lofoten Island in northern Norway in 2012”

Vester, H. & Ilmon, C. (2012) “Re-sighting of “P118”, an adult male orca, near Vesteralen, northern Norway in 2012”

Supporting Evidence

Logs of Video recordings of Morgan at Loro Parque. By “Morgan Observer”

Petition to the Netherlands Government from citizens of Oksnes municipality in Norway

Transcript Discovery Tour inside Orca Ocean, Loro Parque


Letter from Stefan Bräger, PhD supporting the reversal of the export of Morgan to Spain and her careful preparation for a release into the wild

Letter from Paul Spong  & Helena Symonds, Orcalab, recommending Morgan be removed from Loro Parque

20120628- email to Ridgway, from Visser re Loro Parque & Morgan

20120628- email to Alumnia & Delponti, from Visser re Dr Sam Ridgeway

20120628- email response Delponti, Patricia re Dr Sam Ridgeway

20120628- email response Almunia, Javier re Dr Sam Ridgeway

Loro Parque’s Evidence

To ensure that interested parties have access to both sides of the story, we have also included the report from Loro Parque regarding Morgan being held at their entertainment park.

Almunia J. F. P. (2012) “Report on the introduction of a rescued Orcinus orca individual into the Orca Ocean group”

Graph of Morgan’s Weight, From Almunia’s Report

Almunia (2012) has a graph of Morgan’s weight in his report. We are very worried about her, because her weight should not plateau off like this (you can see that shortly after the 1st of August 2012, her weight stops increasing). Photos taken by Dr Visser, in October show distinctive signs that Morgan’s weight is an issue.