How long do dolphins live? Facts about marine parks

How long can whales and dolphins live in their natural habitat compared to extreme captivity? A full life is just one thing that marine parks like SeaWorld steal from animals. By treating them like breeding machines and keeping them trapped in cramped tanks, marine parks exploit living creatures for financial gain. But you can take action to help these animals.

How long do bottlenose dolphins live in their natural habitat?

At least bottlenose dolphins can live 40 years in the ocean and an average of about 25 years. They love to explore new areas with their families. These dolphins form long-lasting friendships by hunting, mating and protecting each other and can swim up to 60 miles in a day.

Two dolphins swim in the ocean, their natural habitat

How long do bottlenose dolphins live? in exploitative captivity?

Bottlenose dolphins born in captivity die about twice as fast as those born in their natural habitat. At least 100 dolphins have died in the Miami Seaquarium, much shorter than their natural life expectancy. In just over a year between 2019 and 2020, six animals died at the facility, including two bottlenose dolphins who died from trauma-related causes and one bottlenose dolphin who drowned after being entangled in a net. Nearly 300 dolphins (not counting orcas) have died in SeaWorld parks. Workers at SeaWorld parks also forcibly breed dolphins — sometimes after drugging them — and use them in performances.

Duncan is just one of the bottlenose dolphins that robbed SeaWorld of a natural life. He has never been able to swim with a pod — or swim freely in the ocean. Workers forced him to perform tricks for food. During his lifetime, SeaWorld transferred him to various parks more than half a dozen times. Duncan died of chronic pneumonia at the age of 16.

Duncan at SeaWorld

How long do killer whales live in their natural habitat?

Found in every ocean in the world, killer whales have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years. Their estimated maximum life expectancy is about 60 for men and 80 for women. Orcas can travel with their pod families throughout their lives and can swim up to 140 miles in a day.

Orcas in nature vs orcas in Seaworld

How long do killer whales live? in exploitative captivity?

Only a handful of the more than 200 orcas kept in captivity worldwide have reached the age of 30. More than 40 orcas have died at SeaWorld – many well below their natural life expectancy. Some deaths were the result of bacterial infections or broken skulls. Killer whales held captive in marine parks often show signs of emotional distress, such as drifting listlessly, banging their heads against glass walls, and swimming constantly in circles.

Amaya was only 6 years old when she died at SeaWorld San Diego. According to whistleblower reports PETA received, she died just days after SeaWorld employees grouped all 10 orcas — some with histories of aggression — together. Read the video below about more ways orcas suffer at SeaWorld.

How long do beluga whales live in their natural habitat?

In nature, belugas have an average life expectancy of about 20 to 30 years, but they can live up to 60 years. Belugas are the social butterflies of the sea. Dozens of pods often come together to form larger groups of hundreds of whales. They are also the most talkative of all whales and communicate by singing to each other.

How long do beluga whales live? in exploitative captivity?

There is some evidence that survival statistics for belugas in captivity are lower than for belugas in the wild, but their precise life expectancy is unknown. In marine parks, no beluga has come close to living for as long as belugas are known to live in the ocean. Dozens of belugas have died in SeaWorld parks, including a baby who died shortly after his birth in 2017.

In July 2021, a beluga whale named Luna gave birth to one of SeaWorld’s newest victims: her fourth calf. Because the park believes baby beluga whales are selling tickets, workers have turned Luna into a breeding machine.

These animals don’t have to be doomed to a shorter life in a concrete tank – you can take action to help them.

Click below to join us in urging SeaWorld to embark on marine sanctuaries, where animals can live in vast areas of the ocean and still benefit from human care for as long as they need it.

Help animals held captive at SeaWorld

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