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Free Lolita Update 127

Lolita Update #127

Capture event Aug. 7; Morgan needs our help now.
August 2, 2011

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Orca Network
2403 North Bluff Rd.
Greenbank, WA 98253


Howard Garrett
(360) 678-3451
Susan Berta
(360) 678-3451
Penn Cove Orca Capture Anniversary Commemoration August 7th

Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA - August 2011 marks the 41st anniversary of Lolita's capture from her family, the Southern Resident orcas, in Penn Cove off Whidbey Island, WA.

To commemorate this anniversary, Orca Network is holding our annual event in Coupeville on the waters and shore of Penn Cove to remember all the orcas who died during the captures or in captivity, and to honor Lolita, or Tokitae, the sole survivor of those taken from the Southern Resident orcas, held in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium since 1970.

We are excited to announce special guest Jenny Cunningham, producer at PBS' KCTS 9 TV, Seattle, who produced "Saving Lolita" for KCTS Connects in 2008. Jenny will be onboard the Cutty Sark for the ceremony at the orca capture site on Penn Cove, and after the on-the-water ceremony will show "Saving Lolita" at the Coupeville Wharf, and talk about how the captures will be a part of her next project about orcas for KCTS.

We'll also hear some recent updates on efforts to reveal what really happens to captive orcas from Carol Ray, former Sea World orca trainer who now argues persuasively against captivity for orcas.

The commemoration will take place in two parts. First, on Sunday afternoon August 7th from noon - 2 pm, join us on Penn Cove for a ceremonial cruise around the perimeter of the capture site. Captain John Stone of Aeolian Adventures has generously offered his 52 foot classic ketch, Cutty Sark, for this two hour cruise with special guests (very limited space available - tickets $30/person), and Captain Billy Wind has offered his sailboat Stella Blue as well for those without boats who want to participate in the on-the-water portion of the event, for a $15 fee. Or you may bring your sail or motor boat, kayak, or rowboat and join our fleet by launching from Capt. Coupe Park in Coupeville, to join our vessels at the Coupeville Wharf for a group departure at noon. We'll travel to the capture site in Penn Cove for a wreath ceremony to remember the orcas killed in the capture, and those who have died in captivity. We'll provide flowers and cedar sprigs to toss into the water, or you may bring your own flower or other eco-friendly offering to toss in the water during the ceremony. The vessels will circle Penn Cove and the capture site, and time/weather permitting, will take a short tour of Penn Cove before returning to the Coupeville Wharf at approximately 2 pm.

Following the on-the-water events, we will gather at the Coupeville Wharf from 2 - 4 pm to watch Jenny Cunningham's "Saving Lolita", and for a few short presentations and stories about the captures, the orcas, Lolita, and the future of her family, the Southern Resident orcas, and updates on other captive orca news. The event is free to the public, though contributions to support Orca Network's educational programs are appreciated. Hoodsport Orca Wine may be purchased in the Wharf breezeway, and participants may purchase snacks or lunch/dinner at Kim's Cafe and Local Grown, conveniently located on the Wharf.

Contact Orca Network or check out our website for more information and updates, or to reserve your space on one of the sailing vessels.

Morgan still in dolphin tank while Dutch Ministry struggles for an answer.

Morgan, a young wild orca, currently being held in captivity in the Netherlands, may go to an infamous marine circus in Spain, or she may be returned to her home waters in the fjords of Norway. Members of her extended family have been found repeatedly close to shore in Norwegian waters.

In late June, 2010, a young orca was seen in the Wadden Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. The little orca appeared to be ill, so she was captured and brought to the Harderwijk Dolfinarium, a captive facility about an hour from Amsterdam. She was named Morgan. For the past year, she has been living in a small tank at the dolphinarium. She is currently on display, where visitors can see her every afternoon - an interesting experience for visitors, but for Morgan, it's like living in a prison.

The Dutch government permitted her capture on the basis that she would be rehabilitated and then released back to the wild. On December 10, 2010, the dolphinarium announced that she would not be returned to the wild.

The legal battles in Morgan's convoluted path back to her home waters have been argued by the Orka Coalitie (Orca Coalition). At that website they tell the whole story of evasion and deception by the Dolphinarium and they present the legal arguments formulated by a wide range of international experts in orca natural history and veteran campaigners for captive cetaceans. On September 5th, the court in Holland put a hold on the CITES permit already granted to the Dolphinarium to send Morgan to Spain, and said that the release plan proposed by the Free Morgan group of international experts should be further developed and all details should be filled in before serious consideration could be taken. The judge's ruling provides a short time for the group to convince the Ministry to allow Morgan's resettlement in a bay pen in Norway.

A wonderful PSA all about Morgan can be seen at the Free Morgan website - orca netherlands - orka Nederland.

Please click on the donation buttons on either or both of these websites, to send money to help cover expenses for the legal efforts by the Orka Coalitie and to help Ingrid Visser and the Free Morgan Coalition continue to advocate for Morgan before the Ministry.

This may well be a last chance for Morgan to avoid permanent captivity. Sea World wants to expand its genetic "breeding" pool.

To calculate the amount in US dollars, you can go to:

Currency Converter - Yahoo! Finance. A 50 Euro donation is $72.67 USD.

Much is going on to help bring Lolita home and to inform and advocate for her and her family Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to help Orca Network continue this work by clicking HERE. Thank you!

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