Orca gave birth in Tenerife: Healthy but Gender impossible to find out

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Loro Parque or ‘Loro Park’ is a 13.5-hectare zoo on the outskirts of Crossport or Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife, Spain where it houses an extensive and diverse reserve of animal and plant species. Loro Parque is also a famous tourist attraction on this Canarian Island

Loro Parque has good news to share:  Morgan is a female orca who was rescued in the Wadden Sea, off the northwestern coast of the Netherlands in June 2010. She was found in an unhealthy condition, severely underweight and malnourished. She lived several months at the Dolfinarium Harderwijk in the Netherlands.

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After it became clear that the basin at Dolfinarium was too small, multiple options were considered, including releasing Morgan and transferring her to another facility. Over a year later, after litigation and debate between scientists, a Dutch court ruled that she was to be moved. Morgan was transported to the Loro Parque in  Tenerife.

The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey

She gave birth to her first calf this morning, which finds itself in a perfect state of health. From the very first moment, Morgan demonstrated to be an exemplary mother attending to her newborn, which is swimming next to its mother in the installations of the ‘OrcaOcean’.

When Morham was recided she only weighed 430 Kg and the keepers of the Dutch dolphinarium were not sure that the animal was going to survive the first night after its rescue. They, however, we’re hopeful that with a proper level of care, affection and attention of the caregivers, as well as with the adequate nutrition, the animal could make a recovery.

Thanks to all these efforts of the team at Harderwijk, the animal began to recover its weight and strength, and as the Harderwijk installations were not prepared to keep orcas, the Dutch authorities initiated a formal commission to determine the future of the orca Morgan. A group of international and independent experts came to the conclusion that there were only two viable alternatives for the animal: euthanasia or to be kept at an installation of an aquarium that complied with the necessary conditions for this animal species.

At this moment, as Loro Parque had the most modern installations for orcas in existence, the Park was contacted to see if it would accept the animal. Despite all the challenges that this request represented, Loro Parque accepted the petition, thus, avoiding the only other alternative that was left for the animal: the euthanasia.

After a few months at our installations, the orca Morgan adapted to the new conditions and integrated perfectly into the existing group of orcas at Loro Parque. At the same time, it was discovered that the orca suffered a severe hearing deficiency, which was yet another argument to confirm that animal was incapable to survive on her own in nature.

Given this last circumstance, there were a number of questions as to what exactly a delivery would imply for the animal without a hearing capacity. Today, Loro Parque would like to share the great news: the delivery went in a completely normal manner and the first hours after the birth have been developing in accordance with the best expectations.

It is impossible to know the gender of the new calf yet, although the most important issue now is that both, the mother and the calf, find themselves in a perfect state of health. Loro Parque will be informing the public about the development of the situation, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all its visitors from many different parts of the world, the tour operators and all the collaborators in the scientific field for all the support to the Loro Parque mission: to protect and conserve animals and their natural habitats for future generations.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.