Some people claim that the orcas at Sea World do not live near as long at Sea World as they would in the wild. Is this true? Actually, no one knows. Comparing the life spans of wild orcas and Sea World’s orcas can easily give misleading or false information.
Female orcas in the wild normally live about 30 years and males live about 19 years in the Pacific Northwest. In Southeastern Alaska females live into their fifties and males to their late thirties. So, in those two parts of the world male orcas live 19-30 years and females live 30-50 years. Sea World has several orcas in their thirties along with another that is close to fifty. Of course, in the wild, orcas live with the dangers of starvation, underground whaling, disease, injuries, and pollution. At Sea World, orcas don’t have to worry about starving, whaling or being polluted, and if they get sick or injured they receive expert care from vets.
So we can’t really know if Sea World’s orcas have the same life span as those in the wild. Some whales at Sea World have died at young ages, but that appears to be normal in the wild. In many parts of the world wild orca calves suddenly die at a few months old. This has also happened at Sea World, but for the most part Sea World’s orcas are living as long as wild ones.