Killer whale repeatedly ‘smashes head into gate’ as charity calls for release

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A killer whale who was once filmed leaping out of a tank in a suspected self-harm attempt needs rescuing, a British charity has urged.

Morgan has been in captivity at Loro Parque in the Canary Islands for over 10 years.

And PETA claim Morgan has “smashed her head into a gate” after being forced to perform tricks.

The charity also alleges the killer whale has been attacked by other ocras, which they believe to be why she beached herself.

A video of Morgan beaching herself for 10 minutes went viral in 2016 after being released by The Dolphin Project – but park keepers said the orca's behaviour was completely normal.

Years on, furious campaigners have said enough is enough after Morgan suffered further in August.

Tragically, Morgan lost her two-year-old calf, Ula, at the park.

The killer whale is believed to have died due to an intestinal condition.

PETA director, Elisa Allen, told the Daily Star she wants the Spanish government to help Morgan’s cause.

She added: “Morgan was found emaciated and was captured under a permit that specifically provided for her recovery and subsequent release.

“Then, with the support of the Dutch government, she was shipped to the Loro Parque in Tenerife where she’s been held in a small concrete prison for over a decade."

Allen continued: “She has been attacked by her tankmates – incompatible orcas from whom she couldn’t escape – and in her desperation, she has repeatedly smashed her head into a gate and even beached herself.

“Experts described this as an attempt to avoid the aggressive behaviour of other stressed orcas confined to a tank next to the one in which she’s forced to perform tricks for food.”

"We know captivity kills, and orcas deserve their freedom. PETA is calling on the Spanish government to spare Morgan a lifetime of suffering by retiring her to a seaside sanctuary.”

PETA has also shared photos of orcas with severe dental trauma.

This may have been caused by them gnawing at the gates of their tanks in frustration.

The photos were taken at Loro Parque – and the charity is sharing the images to highlight what captivity looks like for killer whales.

According to PETA, some of the marks show aggressive attacks from tankmates while others suggest desperate orcas biting the sides of concrete tanks.

Backers of PETA's campaign, including Charlotte Crosby, believe the orca should be released.

The TV star said: “Orcas are highly social, intelligent, and sensitive animals who deserve to swim free – but instead, they’re treated like prisoners for profit, suffering for a lifetime in small tanks.

"Their lives are miserable – they’re offered no mental stimulation, and the reverberations from their own sonar bounce off the concrete walls, driving some of them mad.

"Treating animals this way is cruel and unjustifiable – and it needs to end now. If you care about animals, please, vote with your wallets and stay away from marine parks that exploit them for entertainment.

"And join me in calling for these orcas to be retired to coastal sanctuaries, where they can live out the rest of their days in a more natural environment.”

Morgan’s current handlers say she cannot be released into the ocean as she is deaf and may not survive.

Loro Parque has been contacted for comment and the Daily Star is currently awaiting a response.

The Loro Parque blog claims: "Morgan was already in Loro Parque it was discovered and confirmed, not immediately, but in several scientific studies, that she is completely deaf – another reason in support of the already made decision on an inability of releasing her to the wild as that would be an equivalent of a sure and imminent death.

"A suffering death, as she would be condoned to starvation, not speaking about diseases, traffic accidents, social depravation, etc.

"It is further a fact that Morgan has perfectly adapted to her life at Loro Parque, with a unique light-based communication system developed here for her as the only deaf orca in the world, among many other privileges that only the best modern zoos, as is the case of Loro Parque, are able to offer."

  • Animals

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