The park has now returned the calf to Morgan and, in a recent blog post, wrote that staffers were supplementing Morgan’s milk with bottle-feeding. Yet Rose remains skeptical about what’s going on at the park.
“I don’t trust anything Loro Parque says, frankly,” Rose said. “They’ve already put them back together, so it’s unlikely that it was insufficient milk production, because removing the calf would have made that worse, not better — the presence of a suckling infant is part of what stimulates milk production! I wonder if it was more that Morgan was behaving in a way that made them fear rejection, as happened twice with Kohana [another female orca at the park], but then Morgan actually seemed interested in returning to the calf, so they put them back together.”
In 2010, Kohana, one of the two other resident female orcas at Loro Parque, gave birth to a male calf named Adan, whom the staff had to raise after Kohana rejected him. After Kohana’s failure at motherhood the first time, the park still allowed her to get pregnant again. In 2012, she gave birth to a female calf named Vicky, but Kohana rejected her as well. Once again, the park stepped in to raise the calf, but Vicky died the following year.