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Depressed SeaWorld orca captured from wild attempts suicide during performance at Spanish zoo in shocking video

Killer whales

(NaturalNews) People visiting Loro Parque on the Spanish island of Tenerife last month witnessed a performance that they will likely never forget. During a show at the waterpark and zoo, an orca named Morgan beached herself on a concrete slab in a move that is associated with whale suicide.

Heartbreaking video footage of the incident shows the depressed whale beaching herself on the concrete slab and lying motionless for more than ten minutes after performing in a show at the park on May 16. She makes no attempt to get back into the water.

University of Aberdeen Zoologist David Lusseau said that while orcas
sometimes beach themselves while hunting for short periods of time,
their body weight can crush their muscles and internal organs if they
remain on land for too long.

Morgan performs three shows a day at the park. She is the only one of the park's six orcas that was born in the wild. She was rescued off of the coast of the Netherlands in the Wadden Sea in 2010. Although whales are social creatures, she was found alone and in poor health. She was rescued under a permit that only allowed for her rescue, rehabilitation and release. However, it was ultimately deemed impossible for her to return to her family group in the wild and she was eventually transferred to the park in the Canary Islands.

Whale has shown other signs of distress

Whales are known to display signs of depression, and this isn't the first time Morgan has expressed her unhappiness over her captivity. Two months ago, she was recorded repeatedly banging her head into a metal gate at the park's medical pool.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been campaigning on Morgan's behalf. Jared Goodman, the group's director of animal law, said in a statement:

At Loro Parque, where she is "on loan" from SeaWorld, she is treated as a possession and used for profit.

She has been attacked by incompatible orcas dozens of times a day, has smashed her head into a gate over and over again, and has now beached herself in absolute desperation. SeaWorld needs to release this suffering orca and the others it holds captive to a seaside sanctuary now.

More bad publicity for animal parks

The whales are on loan to the park from SeaWorld, which has been fighting a slew of bad press and public outcry following the release of the eye-opening documentary Blackfish. The film exposes the physical and mental distress caused to killer whales who are captured and put on display for profit and entertainment.

In an attempt to protect its financial interests, SeaWorld even went so far as to have some employees infiltrate animal rights groups. SeaWorld admitted to having a San Diego employee attend protests and pose as a supporter in order to spy on activists. SeaWorld claims the worker was planted in the interest of maintaining the safety of its employees and customers. However, the practice has only further dampened its already very negative public perception.

Incident raises awareness of whale's plight

If there is one positive in this situation, it's the fact that the incident has spurred people to talk about the issue of whales and other animals being held in captivity for entertainment purposes. The very people who support institutions such as Loro Parque and SeaWorld who were present during the incident will probably never forget the vision of the poor whale trying to take its life and will likely think twice before supporting those who exploit animals for profit in the future.

In addition, the video, which has gone viral, has showed countless people around the world in no uncertain terms just how distressed these animals can become. It remains to be seen whether the efforts of activists to have Morgan released will be successful, but if nothing else, more people now realize that patronizing these "amusement parks" directly contributes to the exploitation of these animals.

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