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Dutch court blocks transfer of killer whale with SeaWorld ties

A court in the Netherlands has blocked the transfer of a rescued killer whale to a Spanish marine park, where the animal would have become part of Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment's corporate collection of whales.

The court in Amsterdam ruled earlier this month that Morgan, a juvenile female orca believed to be between 2 and 4 years old, remain at Dolfinarium, the Dutch facility where Morgan has been living since she was found starving and alone off the Dutch coast in June 2010. The judge also ordered Morgan moved into a larger pool and that further research be done on whether she can be released back into the wild, according to The Associated Press.

The decision was praised by animal-rights activists, who filed the suit after the Dutch government granted a permit allowing Dolfinarium to ship Morgan to Loro Parque, a marine park in the Canary Islands that works closely with SeaWorld Parks. Loro Parque has five otherkiller whales in its facilities, all of them owned by SeaWorld.

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