How old do captive orcas live?

How old do captive orcas live?

A week ago, I was telling you about the birth of Kasatka’s calf

In the cetacean world, there are two groups: pro-caps and anti-caps. The first ones are those in favour of captivity, whereas the other ones are against this industry of enslavement.
Pro-caps claim that captive orcas have the same average life expectancy than those living in the wild. (Be careful not to mix “average life expectancy” with “maximum life span”).

How long do captive orcas live? How long do orcas born in captivity live?
Many dug this matter before me, and it was about time that I mentioned it on my blog with statistics. There is a saying that goes: “What is good in Sciences, is that whether you believe in it or not, it is still true”.

Numbers as of October 15, 2010 state that of the 197 killer whales in captivity since 1964, almost 2/3 didn’t make it past 10 years in captivity. Less than 30 orcas survived more than 20 years in captivity.

Credit for the picture:

Here’s a look of how the death rate got developed amongst orcas in captivity since the first captures. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be much improvement since the mid 70’s.

Researchers in cetology have determined an average life expectancy for wild killer of about 30 years for males and 50 years for females.
Despite these widely known facts, marine parks officials still declare publicly that orcas don’t live much longer than 20 years.

In fact, it all comes down to ask ourselves “in which group do we position ourselves?”
It’s simple:

Pro-caps Anti-caps
-Dolphinariums or marine parks’ owners
-Visitors of marine parks or dolphinariums
-PhDs in Marine Biology

So? Have you chosen yet?

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