Video of killer whale beaching at water park prompts outrage

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Whale Beaches Herself After Show

Footage of a captive killer whale beaching itself after a show at a Tenerife water park has caused indignation on social media, prompting calls for the giant animal to be returned to the wild.

Morgan, the orca, is seen deliberately pulling itself out of the water at Loro Parque in the Canary Islands and laying motionless for several minutes, in a video taken by "Morgan Monitors" and shared on Vimeo.

Morgan on concrete slide-out, Loro Parque, 05/16 from Dolphin Project on Vimeo.

SEE ALSO: These 23 orcas will be the last at SeaWorld

Visitors reportedly took selfies with the Morgan in the background, according to The Dolphin Project, a group campaigning against dolphin and whale's captivity.

Loro Parque has some whales on loan from SeaWorld, and Mashable has reached out to the park to clarify how many.

One user commented to the video, saying: "Looks to me as if she was trying to take her own life, I don't blame her."

"This is one of many examples of what is wrong with captivity. One would never see this bizarre behavior in nature," says Richard O'Barry, founder of Dolphin Project.

Learn more about the history of SeaWorld:

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Video of killer whale beaching at water park prompts outrage
Shamu the killer whale barks at Kansas State's Steve Washington, left, after splashing him during the team's visit to SeaWorld in San Diego Thursday, Dec. 23, 1999. The team enjoyed a day at the marine park with temperatures in the mid-70's Kansas State will face Washington in the Holiday Bowl Wednesday, Dec. 29, 1999 at Qualcomm Stadium. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
392915 02: Pop Singer Kaci Pets A Penguin August 2, 2001 At Seaworld In San Diego, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)
393343 01: Talk Show Host Larry King Pretends To Interview Shamu, A Killer Whale, During A Family Visit To Seaworld August 6, 2001 In San Diego, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)
393584 02: Rapper Ll Cool J Holds A Macaroni Penguin During A Behind-The-Scenes Tour At Seaworld August 22, 2001 In San Diego, Ca. (Photo By Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - FEBRUARY 20: Actress Uma Thurman hugs killer whale Shamu during a visit to SeaWorld February 20 ,2009 in San Diego, California. The star of films 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Kill Bill' was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour at the marine-life park where she also got to interact with bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales and a walrus. (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - APRIL 10: Actress Debra Messing interacts with curious penguins at SeaWorld San Diego's Penguin Encounter April 10, 2009 in San Diego, California. The actress and her family were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the marine-life park. The penguin exhibit features a snow-filled habitat maintained at 25 degrees that features more than 250 penguins representing five Antarctic species. (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - MAY 2: Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and 10 month-old son Zev get an up-close look at a Humboldt penguin chick during tour of SeaWorld San Diego May 2, 2009 in San Diego, California. The chick, which is being hand raised, is just over 30-days-old. Winokur, her husband Judah Miller, a writer and producer on the animated comedy show 'King of the Hill,' and Zev enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour which included a Dolphin Interaction Program and other close up interactions with killer whales, dolphins, beluga whales, walruses and sharks. Winokur will host Oxygen�s new competition series 'Dance Your Ass Off,' premiering June 29. (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 26: In this handout from SeaWorld San Diego, 'True Blood' actor Anna Paquin swims with a bottlenose dolphin during a Dolphin Interaction Program at SeaWorld San Diego's Penguin Encounter July 26, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Bob Couey-SeaWorld via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - MAY 14: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, singer Justin Bieber poses next to Allua, a female beluga whale at SeaWorld San Diego, on May 14, 2010 in San Diego, California. Bieber was in San Diego for a live performance today. (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 27: In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Diego�s 14-year-old, 1,150-pound male polar bear, Charly, chills following a snowy adventure at the park's Wild Arctic attraction on August 27, 2010. Summer temperatures soared into the triple digits across the United States. (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, �Bachelorette� Ali Fedotowsky celebrates her 26th birthday with her fiancé Roberto Martinez at SeaWorld San Diego on September 16, 2010 in San Diego, California. The love birds spent a day interacting with SeaWorld's amazing animals, including bottlenose dolphins. During a special Dolphin Interaction Program arranged by Roberto, one of dolphins even brought Ali a birthday message in a bottle! (Photo by Bob Couey/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 04: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, a new emperor is in town at SeaWorld on October 4, 2010 in San Diego, California. For the first time in eight years, an emperor penguin has hatched at the marine-life park's Penguin Encounter attraction. The 3-week-old, 2-pound chick hatched in mid-September and is being hand-raised by the SeaWorld's aviculturists in a behind-the-scenes nursery. This marks the 21st emperor penguin to hatch at the park since 1980. SeaWorld San Diego is world-renowned for its successful penguin breeding program and has hatched and raised more than 500 penguin chicks representing eight species in the last 30 years. The chick is expected to go on public display in about four months. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 21: Sea World staff photographer Mike Aguilera photographs the release boat carrying Miranda Richardson as she helps Sea World San Diego return rescued Sea Turtles to the ocean at Sea World on June 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 21: A general view of the atmosphere at the premiere of Sea World San Diego's 'Turtle: The Incredible Journey' on June 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 21: A general view of the atmosphere at the premiere of Sea World San Diego's 'Turtle: The Incredible Journey' on June 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 03: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow meets Clyde the Sea Lion, the star of SeaWorld San Diego’s 'Sea Lion Tonite,' at the marine-life park's Sea Lion and Otter Stadium on August 3, 2011 in San Diego, California. Crow and her sons spent the day a SeaWorld meeting, feeding and learning about sea turtles, penguins and sea lions, other park animal ambassadors. Crow was performing in San Diego on her summer concert tour with Kid Rock. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 15: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, Santa Claus poses with a Beluga Whale at SeaWorld San Diego on December 15, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 17: In this handout image provided by Seaworld, five Humboldt penguin chicks seem to pose perfectly for a picture at SeaWorld San Diego on May 17, 2012 in San Diego, California The chicks, which hatched at the marine-life park within the last two months, were raised by their parents until the age of 30 days when penguin keepers took over rearing and are teaching them to accept food from humans. Native to Peru and Chile, Humboldts are a threatened species. SeaWorld San Diego has a colony of more than 40 adults, which can be seen during a behind-the-scenes tour. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/Seaworld via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 06: In this handout image provided by SeaWorld, Clyde, an Asian water monitor went on an early Easter egg hunt today, with the help of SeaWorld trainer Caroline Smith at SeaWorld San Diego on April 6, 2012 in San Diego, California. He gobbled up several eggs on the grassy area of Animal Connections, where he often can be seen as part of impromptu encounters. Asian water monitors, native to marshes and riverbanks throughout southern Asia, are good climbers and sometimes feed on eggs from bird's nests. They also eat birds, fish and other small animals. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 15: In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, actress Willow Shields dances with her new friend, Avalon, a bottlenose dolphin, at SeaWorld San Diego's Dolphin Point on July 15, 2012 in San Diego, California. 'The Hunger Games' star was in San Diego participating in the 43rd annual Comic-Con when she made a visit to the marine-life park. Along with dolphins, Stenberg also met penguins, seals and sea lions. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 25: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld, Szenja, one of the polar bears from SeaWorld San Diego’s Wild Arctic exhibit, gets into the spirit of Halloween on October 25, 2012 in San Diego, California. Polar bears are the largest land carnivore and have 42 teeth, which they use for catching food. Polar bears swallow most food in large chunks rather than chewing. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/ SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 05: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld, Cascade, a 29-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, gave birth to a calf at SeaWorld San Diego on November 5, 2012 in San Diego, California . The 30-pound calf is the 78th dolphin born at the marine-life park. SeaWorld trainers and animal care specialists are monitoring both mom and calf round-the-clock documenting respirations and nursing frequency. Cascade and her calf are doing very well as they swim together and bond. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego Via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - FEBRUARY 14: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, mom and baby killer whale swim together at SeaWorld San Diego's Shamu Stadium February 14, 2013 in San Diego, California. Kasatka, a killer whale who is approximately 37 years old, gave birth to the calf this morning at 6:33 a.m. under the watchful eyes of SeaWorld's zoological team. The calf is estimated to weigh between 300 and 350 pounds and measure 6 to 7 feet. The gender of the calf is not yet known. As with any killer whale birth, the mother and calf will be observed round the clock for the first few days. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 19: In this handout photo provided by SeaWorld San Diego, actor Ken Jeong, who stars in 'The Hangover Part III' and the new movie 'Turbo,' enjoyed a day at SeaWorld San Diego with his family July 19, 2013 in San Diego, California. Jeong got up close and personal with Clyde the Sea Lion. He also toured the park's Animal Rescue facility, and visited amazing animals at Wild Arctic and Pets Rule! (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 27: In this handout image provided by SeaWorld San Diego, California sea lion pups recover at SeaWorld San Diego's Animal Rescue Center January 27, 2015 in San Diego, California. The marine park, along with other rehabilitation facilities along the California coastline, is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of ailing sea lions stranded on beaches this year. The young animals, six to eight months old, are found extremely lethargic, malnourished and dehydrated. It's not known with certainty why the region is seeing a larger number of strandings this early in 2015, however, there could be insufficient food sources for the sea lions. SeaWorld San Diego has rescued 62 marine mammals since Jan. 1, and 60 of those are California sea lions. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images)
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 27, 2015, file photo, a giant sea lion, nicknamed Bubba, swims in a recovery pool at SeaWorld San Diego's animal rescue center in San Diego. Bubba, who was found impaled by a homemade spear in May, died Wednesday, June 3, after going into cardiac arrest during an exam. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
In this Monday, March 7, 2011 photo, killer whale Tilikum, right, watches as SeaWorld Orlando trainers take a break during a training session at the theme park's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Fla. In an unprecedented lawsuit, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is accusing the SeaWorld marine parks of keeping five of its star-performer killer whales in conditions that violate the Constitution's ban on slavery. The suit, which PETA says it will file Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 in U.S. District Court in San Diego, hinges on the fact that the 13th Amendment, while prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, does not specify that only humans can be victims. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
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He noted that while the orca's behaviour cannot be explained, "the juxtaposition of a previously wild orca against the stark backdrop of the park's performance area is unsettling, to say the least."

Twitter users started a #FreeMorgan thread to express their outcry at the killer whale's alleged mistreatment:

The whale was taken from the wild in 2010 by a local theme park, Dolfinarium Harderwijk, under a Dutch government-issued "rescue, rehabilitation and release" permit, according to the Free Morgan campaigning group. It was later transferred to Loro Parque in the Canary island by order of a Dutch court.

However, the theme park "never fulfilled the 'rehabilitation and release' part of the permit," claims Free Morgan.

The park responded to the accusations, telling Sky News: "Voluntary stranding is a natural behavior in wild orcas.

"The orcas at Loro Parque are trained to leave the water on their own accord. This behavior is used for manifold purposes, for example, for presenting the animals to the public, for conducting corporal check-ups, for inspecting their blowholes, as well as for testing hearing abilities of the orcas.

"During their free time, sometimes animals get on stage, even go sliding from side to side. This is done quite naturally, often associated with game dynamics.

"Pretending that's a stress test shows an enormous ignorance about the behavior of these animals."

The video comes after SeaWorld announced in March it would no longer breed killer whales in captivity at any of its parks, making its current generation of orcas its last.

For years, public pressure piled on the company to phase out its orca shows.

SeaWorld was already fighting a California ruling from October 2015 that had banned orca breeding at its San Diego park.

Related: Also see these majestic orcas:

13 PHOTOS
Orcas
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Video of killer whale beaching at water park prompts outrage
An orca swims at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France, on December 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
MARCH 20, 2014. SAN DIEGO, CA. During a night time performance at Shamu Stadium, a trained orca killer whale leaps above the pool at Sea World, San Diego, CA on March 20, 2014. In the aftermath of the documentary 'Blackfish', critics are suggesting an end to keeping whales captive for entertainment. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Orcas perform on August 11, 2013 at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Big Orca Sunset Spyhop
In this photo taken Feb. 26, 2015, and provided by NOAA Fisheries, newborn Orca calf L121 swims with its mother, L94, off Westport, Wash., with the NOAA research ship Bell M. Shimada in the background. Researchers aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel returned to Oregon earlier this week with a wealth of new data about the whales and their ocean environment. The information was gained after NOAA Fisheries researchers followed the giant marine mammals for 21 days to find out where they go during the winter, what they eat, and what risks they encounter. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, Candice Emmons)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) a new baby orca swims alongside an adult whale, believed to be its mother, about 15 miles off the coast of Westport, Wash. U.S. biologists following endangered killer whales from a research vessel spotted the newborn orca off the coast of Washington state on Wednesday with other whales in the “L” pod, one of three families of southern resident killer whales that frequent inland Washington waters. This is the third baby born to the whale pods in recent months, bringing the Puget Sound’s endangered population to 80, still dangerously low. (AP Photo/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Candice Emmons)
A female resident orca whale breaches while swimming in Puget Sound near Bainbridge Island as seen from a federally permitted research vessel Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration followed about two dozen of the killer whales from J pod through the Sound Saturday after being alerted to their presence the night before from whale L-87, who carries a satellite-linked tag. L-87 was tagged by NOAA several weeks ago as part of ongoing research on the southern resident killer whales. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
An orca eats fish at the Marineland animal exhibition park in Antibes, southeastern France, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Marineland Antibes was founded in 1970. First it was a small oceanarium with a few pools and animals but now it is one of the biggest in the world and receives more than 1,200,000 visitors per year. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
In this photo taken Wednesday Nov. 9 2011, Orca Morgan swims in her tank at the Dolfinarium in Harderwijk, Netherlands. Animal rights activists lost a last ditch appeal to an Amsterdam court to release the killer whale back into the wild, the court ruling on Monday Nov. 21 2011 allows the transfer of the animal to Spanish marine park Loro Parque on Tenerife island. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
A killer whale swims towards the setting sun as seen from the charter boat Thunderbird as it travels north from Laguna Beach towards Catalina Island, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999. Typically, there are about 10 to 15 orcas to a pod. But this weekend, some 60-70 orcas gathered in a ``super pod,'' a phenomenon that brings a handful of pods together for a short period before the orcas disperse back into their smaller groups. (AP Photo/Susie Hall)
An orca swims with its calf at the Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France, on December 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Female orca Wikie swims with her calf born by artificial insemination on April 19, 2011 at Marineland animal exhibition park in the French Riviera city of Antibes, southeastern France. Born on March 16, the two metre long baby weighing 150 kilos hasn't yet been called. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Orca killer whale (Orcinus orca), headshot
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