Bingo, who died at approximately 31 years old
Photo submitted by HaH.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), wild killer whales can live up to 50-100 years. Male orcas have an average life expectancy of 30 years and a maximum expectancy of 60 years, whereas female orcas have an average life expectancy of 50 years and a maximum expectancy of 80 years, but can live as long as 100 years.

However, due to the unnatural conditions imposed upon orcas in captivity, over 160 have died prematurely in confinement. Only two of these orcas, Bingo and Tilikum, managed to reach the average age of their wild counterparts. Not one captive orca has reached the maximum life expectancy of wild orca despite the fact that their food is provided for them and that they receive “world class care” unlike orcas in the wild. SeaWorld’s females have a particularly poor record of life expectancy with 88% dying before the age of 25 (half the average life expectancy of wild female orcas).

Tilikum, who died at approximately 35 years old
Photo by SeaWorld.

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