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Morgan the Orca to stay in Netherlands

The court in Amsterdam has ruled that Morgan the Orca must stay in the Netherlands for the time being.

Morgan was saved from the Wadden Sea last year June. The animal was seriously weakened and was taken to the Dolphinarium Harderwijk to regain its strength.

Last week, the agriculture minister issued a permit to move the animal to the Loro Parque attraction park on the Canary Island of Tenerife, but animal activists united in the Orka Coalitie filed a law suit arguing that Morgan should be returned to the wild because orcas become stressed and aggressive in captivity and as a result do not live long.

The Dolphinarium on the other hand argues that Morgan will die if returned to the ocean because she is too young to have learned to find her own food or socialise with other orcas.

The court ruled that the ministry must reconsider what is to be done about Morgan. The judge said Agriculture Minister Henk Bleker cannot leave the issue up to the Dolphinarium to decide.

There was great public interest in the case. Dozens of animal activists of the Orka Coalitie and international scientists of the Free Morgan Group staged a protest outside the court.

(gsh/hs)

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