Heartbreaking moment, miserable SeaWorld killer whale named Morgan tried to ‘kill herself’ by jumping out of the tank

THIS IS the heartbreaking moment when Morgan the killer whale jumps out of her aquarium in what animal activists say was a suicide attempt.

Footage that went viral in 2016 shows the killer whale lying motionless for ten minutes while stranded on the edge of her aquarium.

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Did Morgan the whale try to kill herself while she was lying on the edge of her aquarium?

Animal activists and concerned viewers claimed the animal attempted suicide because she was unhappy in captivity in Loro Parque in the Canary Islands.

However, park rangers rejected the video, saying it was an “exaggeration” and claiming the behavior was “completely normal.”

Orcas that lie on the beach for too long are crushed by their own body weight and die as their enormous mass, unsupported by water, crushes their internal organs.

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And another video that came out around the same time showed her repeatedly banging her head against a metal fence.

And it’s also been suggested that the killer whale was actually trying to “escape” from its captivity rather than harming itself in the clip.

Morgan was captured in the Wadden Sea off the coast of the Netherlands and was captured in 2010 because she was found to be malnourished and in poor condition.

She has been the subject of protracted battles between the park organizations and animal rights activists who argue that orcas should not be kept in captivity.

Morgan was originally said to have been captured on the condition that she be released back into the wild and not shown to the public.

However, she ended up at Loro Parque when she was transformed into one of the park’s attractions.

The park claims she cannot be released into the wild because she is deaf and would not survive in the ocean.

Morgan was originally “owned” by SeaWorld, but was loaned to the Spanish Park as part of a breeding program.

And in May 2016, her apparent plight came to the world in the infamous video released by The Dolphin Project.

The footage showed Morgan lying on her stomach on the edge of her 100-meter-long, 12-meter-deep concrete tank under the sign that read “Loro Parque”

All we can do is watch her behavior, which shows signs of deep anxiety and major social problems

John Hargrove

“This is one of many examples of what’s wrong with captivity. You’d never see this bizarre behavior in nature,” said The Dolphin Project.

It remains unclear what exactly Morgan was doing as she lay on the edge of her tank – but experts at the time didn’t rule out an attempted self-harm.

John Hargrove, a former orca trainer, told The Daily Mail: “How can we know — she’s a whale.

“All we can do is watch her behavior, which shows signs of deep distress and major social distress.”

Hargrove, who worked with 20 orcas for 14 years while working for SeaWorld, added: “Prolonged beaching is a sign that the whale is deeply upset with its environment and its social group.”

dr. Ingrid Visser, a marine biologist, described Morgan’s behavior as “fundamentally wrong” and said she was trying to escape.

Wolfgang Rades, the director of Loro Parque Zoo, disagreed, saying: “Going to the beach yourself is completely normal behavior – orcas do it all the time in the wild when they are hunting.

“They are not unhappy.”

He added, “There’s just more for them to see out of the tank.”

Her ownership was officially transferred to Loro Parque in 201`7 when SeaWorld stopped breeding orcas.

The Free Morgan Foundation claims the whale was exploited when she was trained to perform tricks and kept in tanks “barely big enough” for her size.

“We have not given up on Morgan – she continues to suffer in captivity and so we will continue to expose the scandal of what happened,” the group claims.

And meanwhile, tragedy struck Morgan this year when the calf she gave birth to in 2018 — Ula — died last month.

The killer whale remains in Loro Parque to this day, and the line shows no signs of an end between the aquarium and animal rights activists.

Whales in captivity have been reported to have engaged in self-destructive behaviors such as wearing their teeth and banging their heads against their tanks.

And there have been high-profile cases like Hugo, who is alleged to have essentially committed suicide after slamming his head into his tank and later suffering a brain aneurysm.

Another killer whale, named Kiska, was filmed last week banging her head against the side of her tank in a chilling echo of Hugo.

Morgan the whale has been held in captivity since she was caught in 2010

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Morgan the whale has been held in captivity since she was caught in 2010Credit: YouTube
Morgan the whale had a calf named Ula - but she died in August

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Morgan the whale had a calf named Ula – but she died in AugustCredit: YouTube

Whales in the wild have also exhibited some self-destructive behavior, with reports of mass whale strandings – however, this is often attributed to confusion or disease.

While it’s unclear whether these actions can definitively be classified as “suicide attempts,” the animals appear to be in distress.

And this behavior has been extensively documented in captive killer whales.

Orcas have the second largest brain in the animal kingdom at 6kg – four times larger than humans at 1.5kg.

Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist with the Animal Welfare Institute, a nonprofit organization, told National Geographic in 2019 that because of their size and intelligence, orcas don’t do well when kept in enclosures.

“It’s basic biology,” she said.

“If you’ve evolved to travel great distances to look for food and mates, then you’re adapted to that kind of movement, whether you’re a polar bear or an elephant or a killer whale.

“You put [orcas] in a box 150 feet long by 90 feet wide and 30 feet deep and you basically turn them into a couch potato.”

She added: “No marine mammal is adapted to thrive in the world we created for them in a concrete box.”

SELF-INJURY

But despite it being believed that animals can exhibit self-destructive behaviors, it’s unclear whether whales are capable of “suicide” in the human understanding of the term.

Dolphins, however, are said to be capable of taking their own lives – with numerous anecdotal cases, such as the case of Peter.

A 2017 study found that 25 percent of all captive killer whales have severe dental damage and 70 percent have at least some dental problems.

Killer whales in captivity are said to grind their teeth on the tank walls to the point of exposing the nerves – leaving them with crushed and open cavities.

Hit documentary Blackfish exposed the psychological toll that allegedly takes on captive killer whales – including testimonials from former trainers.

While working in aquariums, SeaWorld trainers have claimed that the whales regularly injured themselves as a result of psychological trauma.

One said the whales would regularly damage their jaws and should be given drugs like Valium to calm them down.

Hargrove added: “I have worked with some whales who were on medication every day of their lives and have personally seen whales die from disease at a very young age.

“It was the hardest decision of my life to walk away from the whales I loved to become a whistleblower and expose the industry.”

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