Last week, an orca with a distinctive notch on her dorsal fin named J2, who is believed to be 103 years old, was spotted off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. J2, who has been lovingly dubbed “Granny,” was first spotted in 1971 with her full-grown son Ruffles — she hasn’t bred since then, which leads scientists to believe she was about 60 years old at the time.
According to SeaWorld, orcas in southeastern Alaska, which is near British Columbia, appear to have a “maximum longevity… in the 50s for females and late 30s for males,” though they insist the data is too limited to know for sure. However, the average lifespan of orcas that are born in captivity is a mere 4.5 years.
In the wild, orcas often travel over 100 miles a day with their close-knit pods. Like humans, orcas are very social creatures, and being with their family is necessary for their psychological and physical well-being.
In captivity, orcas are often separated from their pods, which causes mental duress and can result in irregular and violent behavior. Males in captivity often have drooping dorsal fins, thought to be caused by a lack of exercise.
For SeaWorld, orcas are the star of the show — their featured product. Despite all evidence that shows the harm of keeping orcas captive, SeaWorld continues to push their version of the “truth.” The real truth is that there is no excuse for keeping these beautiful and intelligent creatures in a concrete tank, no matter how important they are to SeaWorld’s business model.
Sign the petition to boycott SeaWorld — tell CEO Jim Atchinson that it’s time to stop the exploitation of orcas.