You are right about the averages for wild orcas, and it’s true that many captive whales have died young (though the average age is steadily increasing as our ability to care for them properly increases), however, it’s actually not true that “a good number of whales born in captivity die before their first birthday.” Most captive born whales survive past their first birthday easily, or at least they do now, so long as their birth and upbringing go smoothly (I.e. They’re not rejected or injured during the birthing process, exc.)
It’s the wild born orcas that have a tough time surviving past their first birthday, which is why they aren’t named until they’ve turned a year old, because the infant mortality rate is quite high with wild orcas, especially first born calves.
Nalani is currently 7 years old :} She was born on September 18, 2006
Conflicted, to put it simply.
I continuously hear bad things about Marineland, and they have an INCREDIBLY rocky past, however, I personally have never gone there, or seen anything myself, so I can’t really give a good honest opinion about it.
If someone had never been to SeaWorld, with all the bad press they’ve been getting, a lot of people may believe they’re a horrible institution that brutally abuses their animals. I’ve personally seen SeaWorld though, and not just the public areas-with 2 years of Career Camp and doing the Marine Mammal Keeper Experience, I actually cannot think of one area of the park I haven’t seen the behind the scenes area of! (The only exception would be Shamu Stadium, which I have not seen any of behind the scenes) Since I’ve seen SeaWorld’s standard of care, their animals, and talked with various people who work for and care for the animals, I know that SeaWorld does not abuse their animals, and in fact provides extremely good, top notch care for them.
Marineland though, I don’t know. From the pictures I’ve seen, some areas look nice, while others (Especially the areas for their land animals) look like sh*t holes. But again, I don’t know for sure as I’ve never personally been there.
At this point I’ll say that I myself will not be patronizing Marineland anytime soon, but I also won’t be speaking for or against it unless I learn a lot more about it, and possibly see it for myself (but only if I can do that without giving them any money) at some point.
Hey anon :} Great question!
Currently, if you exclude all of the deceased orcas (Both wild and captive) the average ages of the living populations is:
Captive whales: 17 years old
Wild whales (Using the Southern Resident population, exluding ‘miracle whales’ Granny (102), Ocean Sun (85), and Spieden (80)): 19 years old
Wild killer whales do live slightly longer than captive whales (currently) and have a lower death rate among mature animals, however, the averages are fairly close. (I just did all of the math out myself, gathering up the current ages of every living captive killer whale and every living wild killer whale in the Southern Resident population-as they are the easiest to obtain the ages of-(With 3 exceptions: Granny, Spieden, and Ocean Sun-due to their extreme ages, I excluded them as I knew they would bring up the average to a less accurate number, as they are the only 3 whales over 80. The 4th oldest is only 48-there are no currently living whales in the Southern Resident population that are in their 50s, 60s, or 70s)
Hopefully that was helpful and answered your question! :}
EDIT (8/27/14): I just read something where someone had taken the ages of deceased orcas from 4-5 different populations (Northern Residents, Southern Residents, Alaskan orcas, and a couple others) and used around 300 individuals to average out the age. Their result was the average age of death was around 35 years old.
Hi :) I’m happy to answer your question to the best of my ability, however, before I do I just want to point out that this is one of the few times I will talk about my own personal views on captivity. I rarely do (on this blog) because I don’t want my beliefs and opinions to spoil the overall theme of the blog. When I run this blog, I try to maintain a neutral standpoint regarding captivity, so that no matter who you are; anti, pro, neutral, exc; you can enjoy this blog as much as possible. My opinions are my own and I will not push them on anyone, nor will I talk about them much more beyond answering this ask here. Now that I’ve cleared that up I’d be happy to answer you :)
As a whole, I feel like there are many pros and cons to keeping any animal captive. In the case of orcas and other cetaceans, while I am aware of and acknowledge the cons, I do feel that the pros outweigh the cons.
Obviously two of the biggest cons would be pool size and not keeping family members together. Both of these are not as easily fixed as people may believe, and I feel that the companies that care for these animals try and do the best with what they have. For example, in SeaWorld Orlando, Shamu Stadium, due to state-made regulations, can not be made any larger. So, as a way to alleviate the minimal space, the trainers will often give the animals access to 2+ pools at a time, so they have more room to roam and explore.
Also, while captivity did start out incredibly harsh, it has advanced immensely in the past few years. The animals receive top notch care, live relatively easy-going lives, and are never forced to do anything they don’t want to (receiving no ill-consequences for doing what they want either) Things like food deprivation, isolation, and physical and mental abuse are no longer practiced in captivity, and in most cases haven’t been for many years.
In general, I feel that captivity is ok because the animals living in a captive environment have top notch care, are very much loved and taken care of by their handlers and trainers, and are usually provided with as much as they possibly can be in a captive environment. As someone who’s seen these animals in person, and who’s seen a TON of behind the scenes areas (I’ve seen at least 75% of SeaWorld’s animal areas behind the scenes, I can definitely say these animals are not languishing in their environment, as many people believe, and most seem to be perfectly content, with all of their needs being met and more.
If you, or anybody else, would like to (respectfully) question me further, you may do so here (I just want to keep the pro/anti/neutral opinions off of this blog as much as possible) Thank you! :)
Honestly I can’t have too much of an opinion on it (yet) as I haven’t seen it!
From what I’ve seen and heard, however, I feel that it is most likely fairly outdated (Using facts and information that was once true, but hasn’t been for 20, 30, 40+ years) and that is over-dramatized, so that it draws people in and stirs them greatly, but does so in an artsy, Hollywood-style fashion-not so much in a factual, hardcore documentary way.
Lastly, I know the movie is VERY heavily biased, and while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend people go and see it, if someone DOES go see it, I would definitely tell them to take the entire movie with a grain of salt, and to extensively research BOTH sides before reaching any conclusions.
That, anon, would be my current opinion on the Blackfish movie :)
I do plan on seeing the movie once it comes to either Netflix or CNN, and I would be happy to give my opinion again once I’ve seen it.
Sorry! The descriptions are described as from the animal’s point of view :) So when I say ‘her left eyepatch’ it is from her perspective.
Baby K finally got his official name-Makani!
Not ideal, in my opinion, since it’s WAY too common (Makaio, Nalani anyone?) but still, cute, and it does fit him :) Better than Valentino at any rate.
(Photo taken from SeaWorld San Diego’s facebook page)
What amazing news everyone! Kasatka gave birth at 6:33am PST to a beautiful calf that looks just like Kshamenk! Check out those brilliant, long eyepatches!
Congrats to Kasatka! It has been reported that both mother and baby are doing well.
Oscar was around 28 years old, and had lived at Kamogawa from March 29, 1988 until the date of his death, 12/20/12
During his time there he sired 2 calves, both with his mate Lovey, the most recent of which is his daughter Luna, born this past July.
Even though Oscar is no longer with us, his memory will continue to live on in his calves, and in the people that knew him.
May he R.I.P.
(Photo credit: Link)
Oh, did I forget to put her there? I’m sorry, she’ll go there now!
Vigga is on the list :) I will say though, that although you were young, you should NEVER give ANY captive animal a hand signal without having explicit trainer permission first. It can really mess up their training and frustrate them. It’s not fair to the animal or the trainers to do that. Just for future reference if you didn’t already know. I understand what you mean though about losing a family member. Sometimes animals can mean a lot more than you would think, and they easily become almost like a member of your family.
Oh oopps xD Thanks for pointing it out! Now THAT I will fix haha
Thank you :) And wow that must have been amazing! I have not yet had the opportunity to see wild orcas, but I’ve heard it’s spectacular. I think I’ll leave the “Orca Angels” tag the way it is for now, just because if I only put it as “Angels” It seems misleading in a way. But thank you for you input! I love hearing from my followers :)
Stella gave birth!
This morning, November 13, killer whale Stella (26 years old) gave birth to a baby safely at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium. This is the first time that an orca has been born at the aquarium.
At 40 minutes after 8:00 am, Stella went into labour. At 10:24am the female calf, 160-180 kg and 200 cm, was born safely. She has yet to begin breastfeeding, but the aquarium is watching and observing her closely.
In December of last year Stella, the baby’s father Bingo (estimated 30 years), and her sister Ran II (6 years) came to Nagoya from Kamogawa Sea World in Kamogawa, Chiba Prefecture. - source