An Orca Story

Orca stories int eh news are compulsory posting:

Morgan the orca is moving to a bigger tank, and then hopefully freedom. Photo / SuppliedA young orca in the Netherlands may escape a life in a theme park because of the effort of a team of conservationists, including a well-known Kiwi marine mammal lover.

Northland whale expert Dr Ingrid Visser was part of a team this week that won a landmark court case, blocking moves to shift an orca named Morgan to a theme park in Spain’s Canary Islands.

Visser, the face of orca conservation in this country, has been in the Netherlands for a fortnight, fighting with a coalition of orca experts and conservationists.

Morgan, rescued after being found alone and emaciated off the Dutch coast a year ago, has been held in a theme park in the town of Harderwijk, 50km east of Amsterdam.

Thought to be 3-4 years old, the female orca faced life in a bigger theme park. But a judge in the Amsterdam District Court blocked the move, and ordered the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Agriculture to investigate whether proposed scientific research in Spain was genuine, or merely a guise for exporting the orca.

The judge also ruled that Morgan must be moved to a bigger tank, where she would have more space and contact with other marine mammals.

Visser said it was “an incredible victory”.