It is well known that in November 2011, at the request of the authorities of the Netherlands, Loro Parque has accepted at its modern OrcaOcean installations a young female orca Morgan who was found helpless, in an extremely poor condition in the waters of the Wadden Sea in June 2010. This decision to transfer the orca to Loro Parque was made based on the opinions of the experts who came to the decision that it was no longer possible to return her to the wild. Therefore, this solution was the only way to save her life. Here, in Loro Parque, she is now fully integrated into the existing orca group.
Nevertheless, ever since Loro Parque has accepted the animal in need of help, the radical activists from Free Morgan Foundation led by Ingrid Visser visit the park, normally before court hearings or before events aimed at discrediting Loro Parque. Inventing arguments supported by manipulated photographs, they are communicating false information to the public in order to advocate for the release of the orcas into the wild.
Despite the unfriendly attitude of these activists and their smear campaigns against Loro Parque, the park continued to allow them access to its installations, since Loro Parque, recognized by TripAdvisor as the Best Zoo in the World, is deeply committed to the efforts of nature protection and animal welfare and has nothing to hide. On the contrary, Loro Parque obtained many national and international awards and accreditations which confirm its high standards of operation and first class installations.
In particular, in 2017 Loro Parque became the first European zoo to receive the Humane Conservation recognition from the renowned U.S. animal welfare organization – the American Humane Association. In addition to that, Loro Parque passed the audit realized by Global Spirit, an independent organization whose specialists receive training from Born Free Foundation, to confirm its compliance to the Global Standards in Animal Welfare established by the British Association of Tour Operators (ABTA) and obtained, as the first zoo ever, a 100% compliance certificate!
Last week, Loro Parque received yet another visit from Free Morgan Foundation´s activists, including Ingrid Visser, her associate Rosina Lisker, and the filmmaker Joe Kennedy. This visit was connected with the court case to be heard on 23th January in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where activists repeatedly attempted to illegitimate the transfer of the orca Morgan to Loro Parque, which was realized in accordance with the rules of the International Convention on the Protection of CITES.
This time, however, the activists have clearly crossed the line! First of all, they were denied entry to Loro Parque on Friday, 19thJanuary, because they refused to sign an official document that regulates the use of image and sound recordings for visitors to the park with professional camera equipment. By signing this document, the visitors agree to the established rule that these images will be taken exclusively for private use, while any other use should be coordinated with the management of the park in advance.
This negative encounter was not the only incident that occurred on Friday, more was to come later in the afternoon. During the time of the last orca presentation, which starts at 16.45 o’clock, the activists flew a drone over the OrcaOcean stadium of the Loro Parque. This does not only violate the applicable Spanish law! Such remote-controlled flying devices cannot guarantee safety and put in direct danger the visitors and the animals of the park! It was discovered that the persons responsible for this action, were in fact, Ingrid Visser and her companions and Loro Parque has filed a formal police report.
Due to these circumstances, Loro Parque has taken the decision that, in the interests of visitors and animals under the care of the park, it will make use of its legitimate right and permanently prohibit the entry to Ingrid Visser (and other activists of the Free Morgan Foundation).
This decision will also benefit the orca Morgan, who is due to give birth at the end of this year and who, in opinions of the reputable experts, is unable to survive in the wild not only because of her lack of experience of living and providing for herself in the nature, but also because she suffers from a severe hearing defect which will not allow her survive in the wild on her own.