Jim Toomey is a popular American cartoonist, famous for his comic Sherman's Lagoon.
Jim Toomy's cartoon, Sherman's Lagoon, appears in over 250 newspapers in North America and in over 30 countries worldwide.
With a Master's degree of Environmental Management, Jim's cartoons often feature issues which pertain to the Ocean. Read an interview he did recently with Catherine Fox about how he got started and his interest in marine life.
Jim has drawn a special cartoon just for Morgan to highlight her plight. Help spread the word and post the link to Jim's exclusive Morgan cartoon wherever you can.
Ingrid Visser & Jean-Michel Cousteau
Lawyer and ocean advocate Matthew Spiegl spoke with Jean-Michel Cousteau (Ocean Futures Society) about Morgan at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival which took place during the last week of September.
Spiegl writes, "Jean-Michel also wanted to talk about an issue that is very personal to him and his Ocean Futures Society -- Morgan, an orca whale who was captured on June 23, 2010 and has been in captivity since.
When the discussion turned to this young female orca, there was a noticeable change in Jean-Michel's voice. Although always passionate, there is a profound sense of urgency when he speaks of Morgan. Having spent over four years fighting to free another orca named Keiko from captivity; Jean-Michel is frustrated that we are still having this discussion about captive marine animals performing "circus acts" for humans in 2012."
"We need to put Morgan back in the ocean. We need to get off our ass and campaign as far as we can with as many people as we can to convince the judges, the people who are making the decision in Amsterdam on the first of November, and I'm planning on being there and as many people who can join, to show the world, the legal world that there is a growing number of people, that we are able to have a voice," says Cousteau.
Spiegl also spoke with Dr. Ingrid Visser (Orca Research Trust) who is on the Free Morgan Foundation expert board, who gave the him a "quick education on orcas and filled [him] in on the details about Morgan, explaining that she was not stranded and rescued - but that she was captured and taken".
To read the full article please visit:
Digital Journal journalist Elizabeth Batt writes about Morgan's up-and-coming court case on the 1st November in Amsterdam. She talks about the inspiration and motivation behind the group going to court to support the case for Morgan's freedom. Find out what we hope will happen to Morgan and what anybody new to Morgan's case should be aware of, including basic facts about wild orca, why Morgan is not suited to a life in captivity and why she is considered a good candidate for release.
"Morgan is a suitable candidate for release... [She] has spent more time in the wild than she has in captivity so far. Scientific experts have been able to match Morgan’s vocalizations with a group of orca in Norway believed to be Morgan’s pod...this really increases Morgan’s chances of reuniting with her family pod."
"The group of experts supporting the case for Morgan’s freedom is phenomenal. Combined they have more than 100 years worth of experience working with orca. They really know what they are doing. My ultimate hope, is that they get the chance to do with Morgan what was meant to have been done from the very beginning – rehabilitate and release her back into the wild."
You can visit Orca Morgan's Court Case group to find out how you can support Morgan in court:http://www.facebook.com/groups/SupportOrcaMorganInCourt/
Read Elizabeth's article here with interview from Morgan's Court Case travel coordinator Sam Lipman:
Because the group of orca held at Loro Parque is even more dysfunctional than those held at SeaWorld, San Diego. Dr Visser is very concerned about Morgan’s welfare. She already has evidence of Morgan being bullied, attacked, rammed and bitten. This latest injury in captivity shows that trainers cannot control the orca and Morgan’s removal from Loro Parque has an even greater urgency.
Nakai is an 11 year-old captive orca imprisoned at SeaWorld California. Last week he was photographed with a horrific injury - a chunk of flesh the size of a dinner plate is missing from his lower jaw (you can see from the photo that this is no exaggeration). Nakai has been treated with antibiotics by SeaWorld veterinarians, but this poor animal is not in the clear - not only could his injury cause direct health implications, but it could lead to infection.
It is believed that Nakai sustained this wound on September 20th during a night show at the amusement park, but it is unclear as to how it happened.
Originally, experts were of the opinion that Nakai's injuries could not have resulted from an orca bite. The U-T San Diego reported:
Dr. Ingrid Visser, a leading orca researcher from New Zealand and anti-captivity activist, concurred with Anderson [veterinarian with the University of California Davis Wildlife Center] that the wound doesn’t appear to be a bite, more like a slice caused by something like a metal plate or a wire. She added that she believed that the injury is more serious than Sea World officials have stated.
“This is clearly a very traumatic wound and it appears to be down to the bone and again, I think that SeaWorld is underplaying the wound,” she wrote in an e-mail. “This is another example of why these animals shouldn’t be in captivity.”
However, new evidence has come to light which now suggests otherwise - that Nakai's injuries are likely to have resulted from an orca bite.
New photographs of Nakai have been released by orca expert Ingrid Visser, which clearly show four puncture marks at the bottom right of the wound - the spacing matches that for orca teeth as you can see by comparing them to Nakai's teeth in the same photo.
"When I tried to photograph him over the top of the (very) high rails, I was told to not stand on the camera box and I had to stop taking photos there. Then the trainers deliberately moved Nakai to another tank where we couldn’t see him properly. I only managed to get 6 semi-decent photos of him."
As others have speculated, it is possible that SeaWorld staff members cauterized the wound with lasers to get rid of the rakes before anyone outside of the park saw the injury. But they left those four punctures since they would have had to take too much flesh to remove them.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced on Friday they have filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture for conditions at SeaWorld San Diego that led to a gaping injury to the lower jaw of an 11-year-old killer whale.
For more information please read the following articles:
Journalist Tim Zimmermann first reported this news -
'Death at SeaWorld' author David Kirby also investigates the story -
CBS8 report on Nakai's injuries: http://www.cbs8.com/category/155799/video-landing-page?clipId=7780197&auto
The U-T San Diego interviews Dr. Ingrid Visser about Nakai's wounds -
CBS8 report on PETA's complaint filed with the US Department of Agriculture:
CBS8 reports on the recent photographs of Nakai's injuries taken by orca expert Ingrid Visser:
Ingrid Visser speaks with journalist Tim Zimmermann about her professional analysis of Nakai's injuries: http://timzimmermann.tumblr.com/post/32870571126/vissernakaianalysis