"This level of damage is shocking and disturbing," the team noted.
"In 3 years, 10 months, 10 days Morgan went from 0 percent severe damage of her right mandibular teeth to 75 percent," the researchers wrote. "In captivity, orca dentition is a fundamental indicator of the animals compromised welfare. Damage to their teeth is an undisputable physical attribute which is extremely easy to identify, evaluate and document over time."
Of course, Loro Parque has long denied that its orcas are anything less that perfectly healthy. As recently as April, the park denied that Morgan had any severe dental trauma in a blog about one of Visser's recent visits.
"Dr. Visser received the last veterinarian reports made by an independent international veterinarian with over 40 years of experience with Killer whales, proving again that there is no concern about Morgan's health status," the park wrote. "Dr. Visser asked about Morgan's broken teeth, and the veterinarian staff confirmed that Morgan does not have broken teeth just abrasion in some of them."