After the Free Morgan Foundation had given the experts of the Dolphinarium additional information regarding collected acoustic information which reveals that Morgan is related to the Norwegian P pod Morgan’s natal group or a related kin group and information which indicate that killer whales groups are now sighted frequently near Vesterålen in northern Norway during summer, four experts changed their opinion and stated that Morgan is a prime candidate for release.

"Given this new information, I now believe that rehabilitation back to the wild for Morgan is potentially feasible and an effort to accomplish this warrants serious consideration." 
- John K.B. Ford, PhD Head, Cetacean Research Program Conservation Biology Section

"Given this new information, I believe that rehabilitation back to the wild for Morgan is potentially feasible."   Christophe Guinet Directeur de recherche CEBC-CNRS

"One thing that I do think is that it would be a very interesting scientific experiment to prepare Morgan for ultimate release into the open sea, providing that she is tagged for tracking and monitoring on release."
- Dr. Christina Lockyer

"The plan of moving Morgan in a seapen in a  fjord in Vesteralen or Lofoten is very much in line of my original recommendation."
- Fernando Ugarte  Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Read their full letters and emails here

Prepared by Jan van Twillert & Dr Ingrid N. Visser / Free Morgan Foundation


As part of the Free Morgan Foundation’s Rehabilitation and Release Plan, an appropriate location must be decided upon which encompasses all the requirements for the Plan to succeed.  This is, inter alia; logistical, environmental, personnel, community and habitat criteria.  Furthermore, it must be a location that has historical and recent sightings and encounters with the local population of orca.

The location of Stø, in northern Norway, is an ideal location for the implementation of the Rehabilitation and Release Plan.  The area provides not only all the logistical requirements but is also a prime habitat for orca, with sightings regularly reported within a 10 km range of the harbour and site for the rehabilitation sea-pen.  In addition, the local community of Stø sees Morgan’s return to these waters, as not only a benefit to the Stø Community in terms of possible economic benefit, but also it is clear that they genuinely care about the marine environment, its inhabitants.

The community commitment ranges from the Mayor to the fishermen and also includes residents.  This also includes local businesses who have offered to provide liaison cooperation and to assist with the project throughout its duration.

Download the full report here
Despite overwhelming evidence provided by world renowned orca researchers, scientists and advocates, as members of the Free Morgan Foundation, the best interests of Morgan have not been met. It has been designated that she will be sent to a life of permanent captivity in a barren concrete tank.  Realistically this is nothing short of a death sentence for Morgan as orca in captivity only live an average of 8.5 years, compared to more than 50 years in the wild.  It is disgraceful that a country such as the Netherlands, known around the world for their humanitarian and animal welfare compassion, should have allowed this to happen.  Clearly, ulterior motivations such as money and entertainment have presided over the welfare interests of Morgan.

Unfortunately, because of constrains in the European/National law, the Judge could not decide for Morgan to be rehabilitated and released.  Therefore, Morgan will be the poster-child for our continuing fight against this barbaric and antiquated form of entertainment.  In the same way that dancing bears have been phased out, so too will be the way of places such as the Dolfinarium Harderwijk.  Our long-term goal of establishing laws to ever prevent an animal in need, being turned into an animal used for profit and personal gain, will not stop with Morgan’s incarceration.

“Personally, I am devastated that after all these months of fighting the good fight, to find that reason and science lost over money and ulterior motives.  It is sad to see that non-profit organizations are bullied and overridden by corporate greed and unjust laws.” 
– Dr Ingrid N. Visser

“I find it unbelievable that we point a finger at countries with barbaric activities such as dancing bears, yet, here in our very own country we allow the equivalent to happen with such a highly intelligent species such as orca.”
– Jan van Twillert

“I believe that justice has taken a hard blow today, I think that all the good premises were there for the Netherlands to do the right thing and to show the world that the way animals are treated should and can change.  Once again private interests, insensitivity and political constrains won over good sense and science.”
– Lara Pozzato

“It is unbelievable that it is possible to imprison a wild intelligent animal for profit, under the guise of rescue.”
– Jenny van Twillert

“With this ruling Morgan has been condemned to a short life in the entertainment business, but she is still an excellent candidate for return to her home waters. We could learn so much about orcas by doing so, but there’s money to be made at the circus gate.”
– Howard Garrett

It is heartbreaking that Morgan has been sentenced to a life of stress, forced breeding, poor health and social strife. A life that will be cut short, all for profit and a crude form of entertainment. Thanks goes to the FMF, for fighting the good fight.
- Carol Ray, former killer whale trainer

“Wow. I was hopeful that the Dutch Government would make an evidence-based decision. Poor Morgan is now sentenced to a life with broken teeth in an acoustically dead concrete pond. This reminds me of ‘Planet of the Apes.’ Except this time, we’re the Apes!”
- Jeffrey Ventre MD, former killer whale trainer, SeaWorld of Florida

"I am devastated that even after we could show that wild orcas still exist in northern Norway and that it is possible to find Morgan's relatives and she has a fair chance of being returned to a wild life, she will put to life sentence in captivity to entertain people!"
- Heike Vester

“WDCS is disheartened to learn that a court in Amsterdam has decided that Morgan should be transferred from the Netherlands to remain in captivity at the Loro Parque zoo in the Canary Islands. We now fear for Morgan’s health and welfare as she will be introduced into a new captive environment, to orcas who are strangers to her and to the circus-style shows at Loro Parque. In captivity, orcas suffer a significantly reduced survival rate, low breeding success and stress, which can lead to aggression between themselves and towards trainers, illness and even death.”
- Rob Lott, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, (WDCS).

“I am deeply saddened that the decision makers have denied Morgan the perspective to someday enjoy the rich and fulfilling togetherness with her family, despite the strong evidence and resources in favor of her rehabilitation.”
- Astrid van Ginneken

“What an unreal and dismaying decision! Despite all the evidence and arguments in favour of Morgan being given a chance - from knowledge about her probable origins, to a practical plan worked out in great detail, to the promise of funding, and solid community support in Norway – the Court has ruled against her. In doing so, it has condemned Morgan to a short and dreadful life behind barren walls. How terribly sad.”
Dr. Paul Spong

"It is unfortunate that we continue to be manipulated by the power of economics over clear science and what is best for the welfare of this one individual killer whale. I am saddened to hear of today's verdict. We are cheating ourselves and the next generation too."
Jean-Michel Cousteau

Tanya Streeter, World Record Freediver/TV Presenter/Environmentalist, becomes Ambassador for Morgan!

Since retiring from competitive freediving in 2006 having broken 10 world records in the sport, Tanya has turned her focus to making environmentally sensitive wildlife documentaries.

One of her best received films, "Diving With Whales" for the BBC/Animal Planet, saw her freediving with Humpback whales.  Her experience while filming with these magnificent animals only served to reinforce her strong belief that marine mammals belong in the wild and never in captivity.

"I am deeply saddened to learn about Morgan's incarceration, and horrified that, despite returning to good health, she is being held captive in the smallest orca enclosure in the world for the sake of entertainment.  I will do whatever I can to help the FreeMorgan campaign in their goal to release this magnificent creature back into the wild."

Tanya is currently working on an extremely important environmental film with the Plastic Oceans Foundation, for whom she is a patron.

The film is due for cinematic release in 2013.

The Norwegian press is interested if Morgan is coming home soon!

“Will the saved captured orca come home to the Lofoten”

Click on the photo to link through to the website and article. 

Ady Gil and Kyla
Ady Gil, a world class entrepreneur, Hollywood lighting director (founding partner in California-based American Hi Definition (AHD))and internationally-recognized environmentalist and philanthropist embraced Morgan's cause and is supporting the Free Morgan Foundation for carrying out the Rehabilitation and Release Plan.

The Foundation is very grateful to this great benefactor and hopes many other will follow his lead in helping Morgan.

The verdict of Morgan’s court case will be given on 21th November 2011.

Because of the complexity of this case the judge decided to give her written 
verdict within 2 weeks from now.

Until then Morgan remains in the Dolphinarium Harderwijk.