Spotted: A 103-Year-Old Orca Thriving In The Wild Means Disaster For SeaWorld

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A healthy and thriving 103-year-old orca has been spotted off the western coast of Canada, finally spelling disaster for SeaWorld. The Marine Park, despite an overwhelming amount of evidence, strongly declares that it does not mistreat its whales and that within captivity the animals live much longer and healthier lives. Thankfully, this false statement has finally been entirely blown out of the water.

Since the release of controversial documentary Blackfish, debates surrounding the capturing methods, treatment and ethical injustices carried out by SeaWorld have heated up. It is hoped that this new discovery will be enough to encourage people to completely boycott SeaWorld until it either closes and releases all its captive Whales or the standard of their treatment is made exceedingly higher.

According to Seaworld, because of a lack of research and evidence, the life expectancy of a killer whale is currently unknown to science. However, contradictory to this statement, the marine park has also firmly said that in their care the orcas, which typically have a life expectancy of 20-35 years, live much longer lives. This statement was reaffirmed to be false when the orca named “Granny” was seen to be thriving in the wild at the incredible age 103.

Granny was spotted in May 2014, just off the western coast of Canada with her pod. With her are her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Scientists have determined that the killer whale is not only healthy and thriving in the wild, they have also estimated that she has been swimming roughly 100 miles per day with her pod.

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Whilst in captivity, killer whales are confined in small tanks which greatly limit the amount they are able to swim. According to SeaWorld, orcas do not need to regularly swim hundreds of miles despite their ability to do so. However, according to experts and animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is essential  to the killer whales psychological health and well-being. When spotted, Granny and her pod had just completed a 800-mile journey from the northern coast of California.  This supports the strengthened theory that the small tanks within the park have been causing the whales to suffer from an array of many dangerous mental illnesses, possibly explaining some of their famous and disastrous behavior during the parks popular shows.

Granny was first spotted in the 1930’s, since then it has been documented that she has mothered two calves, who when grown had fostered calves of their own. Reportedly, one of her grandchildren, named Canuck, was captured and held by Seaworld before dying at the age of 4.  According to “the Whale and Dolphin Conservation project, whales born in captivity only live to 4.5 years old on average”.

It is common knowledge that SeaWorld separate the young from their pods, force them to breed continuously at unhealthily young ages, ultimately causing a copious amount of physical and emotional strain on these incredible animals. It is likely that a combination of these factors is what is leading the whales to live such a reduced lifespan. According to the NOAA, wild female orcas can live on average between 50-60 years. So, although Granny’s impressive age is undoubtedly rare, she demonstrates the capabilities of her species if left to explore the oceans freely whilst surrounded by the comfort of family and friends.


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47 COMMENTS

  1. Where do they find these people. How many other animal species “thrive” in captivity? How is an aquatic prison cell different from one of our prison cells? There is very little we don’t know about living large animals on this planet, and these f**king people say the life expectancy of a killer whale is “unknown to science”? I guess some humans will definitely do and say anything for money.

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this article and am about to share it on Facebook. It educated me on a subject that I honestly have never heard of. I’ve never been to Sea World either. This is a VERY important story that I think everyone should read. Thank you.

  3. seaworld as well as all zoo’s are a great addition. orca Whales are beautiful mammals. It would create more harm to the whales if the only place someone would be able to learn about them and see what a wonderful mammal they actually are is by invading the ones In the wild.

    Today’s society sucks with all the activists trying to stop our children to learn about the sea life as well as other animals in zoo and aquariums.

  4. Yea this is the problem with this story why I tend to think its not true as are some of these postings for anonymous. Did they ask the whale its age. Did they cut it open and count the rings? Was there bumper sticker on the whale saying 103 and still going strong! Did the coast guard pull her over and checked her license…

  5. How are they certain of her age? We don’t know. But regardless, those machines weren’t built by Nature to function in fish tanks. Form fits function, mind fits function. Get them back out in the wild where they belong. If there should be any interaction it should be with a willing behavior on their end and always with an open door to the ocean. That’s to be tried.

  6. i would guess and say that they estimated her age in 1930 and currently that makes her the age she is now. even if they were a few years out then its still brilliant and amazing that she is still alive and with family.

  7. I would imagine that they estimated her age in 1930 and now she is the age she is from there. Even if they misjudged the age in 1930 by a few years it is still brilliant and amazing that she is still alive with her family.

  8. Fuck SeaWorld anyway. If you haven’t seen Blackfish then you might not have any idea about what all is being done with the captive Orcas there… Orcas are not domesticated and can’t be kept in captivity…

  9. I call bs. First of all, no respectable institution in the world would ever accept anything in Wikipedia as a legitimate source or reference. If something this big and significant actually took place there would be a lot more sources(as in a book perhaps) created over these past 103 years giving specific information on who captured her, who tagged her, and what organization is keeping track of her in a legitimate, logical manner. I mean, she’s 103 years old for shits sake! Seriously? Not one book? This is just another smear campaign against Sea World. It’s so easy to type up some obscure article and pawn it off as truth without revealing any actual facts. Notice the author seems to have all kinds of information about Sea World but when they refer to “Granny” the information is vague and short. It really doesn’t give any info at all to prove the authors point. The article just seems to assume that all readers are retarded and can’t make their own logical conclusions. Also, I noticed the article failed to mention that Sea Wirld is sending 100 volunteer employees and taking in 100 sick sea animals from that horrible oil spill in Northern California. Oh, that oil spill has nothing to do with Sea World by the way. I say this. If you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Maybe I’m wrong here, and that’s fine but show me something more than Wikipedia and the dodo.com to prove your theory, and I don’t mean the children’s book “Granny’s Clan” either. The bottom line is that if there was any real truth to this at all then one of these “scientists” would have published something legitimate years ago on this incredible find. All the research I’ve done shows that this is nothing more than an urban legend of sorts that just simply isn’t true. I am not on Sea Worlds side here, I just wish the other side didn’t just assume that everybody is mentally incapable of making their own logical conclusions. Please people, think for yourselves and don’t believe everything that pops up on Facebook.

    • Tony all this information is freely available on the Center for whale research web site, Granny has been tagged and studied by marine biologists. It has been known for many years that orcas have a similar life expectancy in the wild as humans, seaworld lie in all their parks saying orcas live longer in captivity… A blatant lie that has been disproved on many occasions by marine biologists… Orcas are beautiful creatures that should not be kept in overly large fish tanks and tortured for entertainment and money… It has been shown that they have a part of the brain that humans don’t have, making them highly social and kin orientated. So when seaworld capture and separate whales from their pods in the wild or their young form their mothers in captivity they are torturing them and creating mental illness in their whales… I am guessing the reason they are sending people to that oil slick is to create some public sympathy for themselves after all the negative publicity they have had. The individuals that are helping are doing it because they care but the corporation are allowing it less for the greater good and more for their own selfish needs to keep the money flowing… The information in this article may not be well written or well sourced but it is all verifiable and is just the tip of the ice burg… Yes make up your own mind people and don’t let people like Tony call you retards…

  10. Here is an article from the Seattle Post Intelligencer

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/bigscience/2014/05/12/oldest-living-orca-granny-visits-nw-over-mothers-day-weekend/#9102105=0&9399107=0&12348103=0&23307101=0

    with a quick discussion of age estimation and details about the respective ages of several wild and captive orca. “Tony” hasn’t done any research, he’s a troll. J2, or “Granny” and the J-Pod have been sighted and studied from respectable distances much longer than I have been alive. (I’m 49 this year, and you’ll have to take my word on that.) This isn’t an isolated sighting. This isn’t a “Big-Foot” tall tale. These whales made news again because they happened to be in the Pacific NW near Mother’s day and it was of local interest, but the real story has developed over the course of approximately 10 decades. This isn’t fiction.

    • Really, now we’re name calling. I’ll respond to unsubstantiated comments when you get out of grade school. Grow up, then you can join the grown ups table. For now, your childish behavior has made what you say have no merit or logic.

  11. The use of maximum age of survivorship with any animal (including the human animal) is not an appropriate way to look at actual survivorship. My aunt died when she was 103 years old but she is not an example of what we considered the average age of death for a female human in living in Western society – the average life expectancy is between 80 to 85 years and it is dependent on obviously lifestyle and genetics.

    I believe this killer whale nicknamed “Granny” from J pod age estimated by her association with a young male that was believed to be her final offspring – the killer whales are interesting as they can continue to live for some time after the menopause. For her to be 103 years she would have of to being born in 1911. Therefore, it is right that people should be dubious regarding her age as systematic observation and photo ID of these animals did not begin the 1970s.

    I have looked at the data from the Centre for Whale Research for the average age of all identified animals from observations and data collected until July 2013. In J, L, and K pods combined (N 81) the average age was 20.33; the median for these combined groups is 18 years. The averaged oldest animal was 76 years and the youngest being 1.3 years. The estimated ages of the oldest animals in all three groups was: 103, 41 and 85 years.

    One of the biggest problems with these kinds of statistics of survivorship is that using basic averages is misleading because for it to be a true indication of actual survivorship then all the animals in a cohort being studied (whether it be in captivity or the wild) would have to be dead for any definitive answer to be found. Therefore, biologists tend to use the concept of “animal days” when statistically interpreting data.

    The methodology of this is explained in this paper linked below.

    http://www.rosmarus.com/Download/Survival.pdf

    • All that talking doesn’t take away any of the miserable conditions these animals suffer by being trapped and put on display by aquariams and sea-themed parks. But good try.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I see these kinds of articles proliferated on Facebook endlessly and no rebuttals like yours are ever posted. I still believe keeping wild animals in captivity is a bad idea, but now I can quote actual facts in my arguments. Thanks again.

  12. it seems like the’re better off living in the ocean than in a tank, don’t ya think? Just my casual observation. Full disclosure, I have zero scientific or empirical data or knowledge to back that up.

  13. Let’s say people boycott Seaworld into it’s closure and you release all the aquatic animals into the ocean, then what? Most of the animals have been bred at Seaworld. They’ve never been exposed to the conditions of the ocean let alone their predators. They’ve never had to fend for themselves or find their own food. You set them free and they’ll die. But goodluck with that.

    • Those animals currently in the park are doomed, anyway. But if the park is no longer profitable, they will stop capturing and breeding new generations of animals to be tortured in captivity.

    • “They’ve never been exposed to the conditions of the ocean let alone their predators.”

      Flashnews: Orcas have no predators. They ARE the predator.

  14. you guys are so dumb and actually making it more than what all this is. do all your chitchat but i bet you wont physically do anything about your views and positions of this matter

  15. We enslave humans and almost every specie of animal and mammals for entertainment purposes and profit for corporations and their shareholders so they live a life the Kings and emperors of old could not even imagine. It is called cultural insanity! Bread and circuses for the masses to distract them from there own state of mental and economic slavery! Sick, really sick!

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