Orca Morgan: Ingrid Visser’s Presentation To The Dutch Court

Credit: Ingrid Visser

On Nov. 1, there was a hearing in the Netherlands to review the legal process by which Morgan was sent to Loro Parque in the Canary Islands. Dr. Ingrid Visser, on behalf of the Free Morgan Foundation testified on behalf of Morgan, arguing that Morgan’s life at Loro Parque violates the terms under which she was transferred, and that for Morgan’s well-being the decision to send Morgan to Loro Parque should be reversed.

You can read an account of the hearing (PDF) by the Free Morgan Foundation here.

You can read Visser’s full report on Morgan’s physical status at Loro Parque, submitted in advance of the hearing, here.

Here’s the statement that the Free Morgan Foundation and Visser are releasing along with her slide presentation to the Dutch hearing:

VISSER’s COURT PRESENTATION SHOWS ALARMING ISSUES

Dr Ingrid Visser presented startling new findings from her October visit to Loro Parque.  Following on the heels of the data and images submitted to the Amsterdam Court, from her June visit, Dr Visser returned to check on Morgan’s welfare.  Unfortunately, Visser has found that the intervening 19 weeks have showed not only an escalation in aggression from the other orca, but Morgan has begun to exhibit a stereotypical behaviour which has not been documented before.  In this case, Morgan repeatedly bashes her head against the side of a gate closing mechanism.  Additionally, Morgan’s boredom and stress have manifested themselves in an acceleration of tooth wear, with a third of some teeth now permanently damaged and the tops worn off.  Blue paint on the teeth clearly shows that Morgan is biting concrete below the water surface.  Trainers have been photographed ignoring Morgan whilst she vies for their attention.

And here is the presentation itself:

Morgan PSA

The Free Morgan Foundation–in addition to Ingrid Visser’s report on Morgan’s life at Loro Parque–has released a PSA.

It takes an interesting angle, and asks people to think about orca captivity, and Morgan’s captivity in particular, from a human lens.

I don’t know enough about the Dutch court system to comment intelligently on what to expect from this hearing, and whether the facts of Morgan’s life at Loro Parque–as documented by Visser (PDF download here, and also vieweable as a Scribd embed here)–will figure in their thinking. Or whether the judges are mostly interested in reviewing the legal process which sent Morgan to Loro Parque.

But if the facts do end up weighing in the judges’ minds, then all credit to Visser and the Free Morgan Foundation for working so hard to get the facts out there.