On June 6, a young orca whale beached herself after a show at the Spanish water park Loro Parque, putting her own life in grave danger.The animal remained completely motionless on the concrete for about ten minutes. Many animal rights groups agree that this kind of behaviour represents a "suicide attempt", demonstrating a deep unhappiness.
"Looks to me as if trying to take her own life, I don't blame her", is just one of the comments on the video.The organisationThe Dolphin Project, who are fighting to end captivity for marine mammals, said in a press release:
Sadly, Morgan was still out of the water by the time the videographers had to leave. This is one of many examples of what is wrong with captivity. One would never see this bizarre behavior in nature.
"The orcas at Loro Parque are trained to leave the water on their own accord"
In response to criticism that flooded in from all over the world, the managers of Loco Parque claimed that this kind of behaviour isnormal for orcas in captivity.They told Sky News:
The orcas at Loro Parque are trained to leave the water on their own accord. This behavior is used for manifold purposes, for example, for presenting the animals to the public, for conducting corporal check-ups, for inspecting their blowholes, as well as for testing hearing abilities of the orcas.
It's hardly convincing as a defence, with animal lovers across the world rightly arguing that these magnificent animals should notbe in captivity anyway.
Heartbreakingly, once the animal had recovered her health, the dolphinarium broke their promises and decided to keep her in captivity, forcing her into a rigorous training programme.18 months later, in spite of the protests of biologists and numerous organisations, the dolphinarium sentenced Morgan to a life of misery by selling her to SeaWorld, who transferred her to the Spanish Loro Parque.
This most recent episode is yet further proof of her psychological distress and underlines once more the absurdity of captivity.A petition to free Morgan has already been signed by almost 300,000 people. To add your signature, click here.For more information about this orca, have a look at theFree Morgan Foundationwebsite, the main organisation fighting for her to return to her natural habitat.