The young orca Adán in Loro Parque | Photo:

Visualisation on true killer whale lifespan

Published on the 14.08.2021.

How many of 50 orca calves born in nature die at what point in their lives? This visualization summarises current research.

» to the visualization & commentary

Note: Out of 50 calves born in the wild, only one has a real chance of turning 50. The number of calves decreases by far more than half during the first ten years – after that, 36 will have deceased. Over the next ten years, another ten will die. Therefore, only four out of 50 calves reach the age of 30. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of these figures and think that every orca will become ancient. But that is not the case. However and as explained by the article, things look much better for orcas in modern zoos and aquariums, and they will look even better because husbandry, care, and medicine are constantly developing.

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