The Administrative Court in the Netherlands rejected the request of the Orca Coalition (Dolphin Motion EDEV - a Animal a Friend, Bite Back, Pink!, First Sea Foundation, the Blackfish and Four Legs) to block Dolfinarium Harderwijk from transferring Morgan to Loro Parque, in Spain. The decision, dated November 21, is based on the fact that "Harderwijk’s immediate interest in placing Morgan in a larger facility with other orcas outweighed the Coalition’s interest in carrying out its phased plan to release Morgan".
According to the media, in the ruling, Judge M. de Rooij announced that the chances of the orca surviving in the wild were "too unsure" and "Morgan can be transferred to Loro Parque for study and education to benefit the protection or maintenance of the species. Many international NGO, claiming that Dolphinarium Harderwijk was “guided by financial interests, rather than concern for the animal's well-being”, condemned the decision and promised to continue their legal fight to return Morgan to the wild; the animal extremists are against Morgan's “sentence to life imprisonment in a concrete tank" and also promised to continue to "keep an eye" on the killer whale while seeing her "decay". In the meantime, Bert van Plateringen, a spokesman for the dolphinarium was quoted saying "We are very satisfied with today's ruling, which is what's best for Morgan", while explaining that “the cost of the rescue, upkeep and transfer of Morgan would be "upward of a million euros"; Mr. Plateringen explained that the dolphinarium “would not profit from having had her”. In one news article, Niels van Elk, the park’s veterinarian, was quoted saying "The theme park is the best option for her because that is where she can live in a group and that is the best we can offer her" and "We as humans should not pretend that we can replace the challenges and the satisfaction that a group of killer whales can give. It is an artificial environment, it's a different life but it's a good life all the same". Several media articles claim that "the Dolfinarium is swapping Morgan for a number of dolphins. The park has also agreed to pay €100,000 to the Spanish centre because the cost of taking care of her will not pay for itself".Morgan was moved shortly after the court's decision. For More Information: www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Dutch-court-rules-killer-whale-can-be-sent-to-zoo-2280235.php#ixzz1hKoDtyiA and www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Dutch-court-rules-orca-Morgan-can-be-sent-to-zoo-2280235.php, http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-11-29/business/os-seaword-morgan-killer-whale-20111129_1_loro-parque-killer-whale-seaworld-san-antonio and www.earthdive.com/site/news/newsdetail.asp?changedate=true&changeyear=2011&id=3896, www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2011/11/orca_morgan_to_move_to_tenerif.php and www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2011/11/29/dutch_transfer_killer_whale_morgan_to_spain/