Thursday 24 January 2019 | 50

Ula, the Jewel of the Sea caged

Ula, the Jewel of the Sea caged

Mis à jour le 29 January 2019

Morgan's baby will be called Ula, "jewel of the sea" in Celtic, although the baby is destined to never see the sea. The local press does not have enough outstanding words to sing about “the wonderful happiness of the mother and her baby in the pools of Loro Park" and the fantastic leaps they would give to science. Yet this is not the first orca to be born in Tenerife and each time, the same disastrous scenario is repeated: the rejection of the baby by a mother too young and inexperienced.

Hr blog

As expected, the beginnings of little Ula were difficult. Removed from Morgan on the third day of his birth, on the pretext that she did not give her enough milk, "a team of 15 caregivers and 3 veterinarians, assisted by Belgian and American experts" we have kept a 24/7 vigil whilst bottle-feeding. Now cameras are watching Ula at night, while the trainers occupy her "with learning sessions, games and above all affection", in the absence of Morgan.

The baby is already undergoing scientific tests, as a columnist explains: "The best zoo in the world (sic) collaborates with experts from the University of Denmark to determine when the echolocation begins in young orcas", a very useless research to help free orcas, but who cares. 

Loro Park will also be working with the University of Zurich to study communication learning in orcas, another "unknown subject in science "according to the Spanish zoo, which has probably not read the abundant literature already published on this theme, "and how the baby adopts the sounds of the dialect from the group".

The dialect of the group? There is little doubt that the two Kohana and Skyla females and their half-brothers, Keto and Tekoa, all born captive and loaned by SeaWorld in 2006, have never been able to acquire any dialect whatsoever. As for Morgan, captured very young and quickly impregnated by humans at the dolphinarium Harderwijk, she probably has only a few bits of the language of her Norwegian tribe.

Still, her daughter should be near her. So far not all has been gained. Today, we learn, "carers are studying mother-daughter behaviour and are making sure that they are as often as possible together. Special sessions are planned to bring her closer to Mum Morgan, under the direct supervision of Loro Park's director Wolfgang Kiessling. He is so proud and happy of the great success that Ula represents."

Could their separation not only be due to the lack of milk? In fact, until January, no picture showed Morgan and Ula together. It is only recently that we have seen them look at the junction of two pools or stay side by side but at a safe distance, while vigilant trainers stand ready to intervene.

As a precaution, no doubt, because when an orca rejects its child through inexperience of motherhood, it may also harm that child.

In 2010 already, Kohana had sharply rejected her first baby, forcing the trainers to feed by hand the frail little Adan. This unfortunate one is still surviving, as discreet as possible to escape the blows from the bosses of the pool. In 2012, the same Kohana gave birth and again rejected her daughter, called Victoria. Weakened by the same blood line of the SeaWorld orcas, Vicky died at the age of 10 months.

This will not prevent Loro Park from explaining again and again that the birth of Adan, Victoria and Ula today "confirms the well-being of the orcas hosted (sic) by Loro Park".

One would almost laugh at such a denial of reality if the suffering of seven orcas was not the consequence. One Voice calls for the transfer of these victims of human greed to the Whale Sanctuary Project or other similar structures that can guarantee them a dignified life.

Sources: El Cotarro and Loro Park

Yvon Godefroid
Hr blog

In the subject

The court prohibit Marineland from relocating the orcas before the end of the independent assessment Marineland: One Voice has obtained a temporary ban on moving the orcas - hearing on 16/01/2024

Comments 50

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Claire | Wednesday 06 February 2019

Qu'on laisse ces animaux dans leur milieu naturel comme tant d'autres d'ailleurs. Tout ça pour l'amusement de personnes qui ne sont peut-être pas conscientes du mal fait à ces animaux qui n'ont rien demandés et qui souffrent. Vos applaudissements en les regardant est une souffrance de plus pour eux.Réfléchissez et n'enrichissez pas tous ces commerces honteux !!

Marie-Blanche | Saturday 26 January 2019

Non !!! L'esclavage existe bel et bien pour les animaux. Non !!! Il n'est pas aboli . Oui !!! C'est scandaleux et dégradantnpour cette espèce qui a sa place autant que nous sur cette planète ....

Stéphane | Saturday 26 January 2019

C'est désolant...
Il est temps d'interdire ces prisons pour cétacés !!
J'espère qu'ils seront rapidement libérés et transférés vers un sanctuaire marin où ils pourront enfin vivre en paix et heureux.

Joëlle | Saturday 26 January 2019

Libérez ces animaux dans un sanctuaire ou dans leur milieu naturel ! Honteux et cruel, laissez les animaux libres et heureux dans leur environnement parmi leurs congénères !