Animal-rights groups are calling for the immediate release of a performing orca whale at a Spanish aquatic animal park after she was caught on video displaying behavior some are calling suicidal. Morgan the whale (at Loro Parque in the Canary Islands) has made headlines after the video shows the animal pulling herself from the pool, beaching herself on a pool shelf, and laying motionless. “This is one of many examples of what is wrong with captivity,” Richard O’Barry, cetacean expert and founder of Dolphin Project, said. “One would never see this bizarre behavior in nature.” Social media response has been swift and critical—the hashtag #FreeMorgan has emerged on Twitter, aimed at Loro Parque and SeaWorld, which loans whales to the Spanish attraction. People for the Ethical Treatment of animals has also weighed in, launching a petition calling for the release of Morgan, who was taken from the wild in 2010. Free Morgan Foundation—an organization created specifically to fight for the release of Morgan—was founded in 2011 and is also working to end the whale’s near-six-year captivity.
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