Notice the difference in this while whale’s fin in comparison to the picture below of a whale that in captivity, it is very common that whales being held captive have a collapsed dorsel fin.
Whales life expectancy in captivity versus in the wild is a shocking difference. The median survival time in capacity is 25 years, whereas the median in the wild is 46, and maximum is 90 years old (WDC). The life expectancies show drastic differences for captivated whales versus those who live in the wild. Killer whales are simply not able to live in a captive environment. In the article (“Killer Whales in Captivity”) it says that the original ‘Shamu’ only lived for in captivity for six years before dying, and that over the years around 140 orca whales have died in captivity. According to this source the main reasons for their short life span is due to the extreme lack of space they have in their tanks, their separation from their families in the wild, completely altering an orcas typical behavior to be more aggressive towards humans, and the change from a varied diet in the wild, to frozen fish in captivity. It is obvious that if whales continue be born and raised in this harmful environment, their numbers will quickly diminish due to their short life span in captivity, as well as the depletion of whales from “whaling,” and at some point if they continue to be raised in captivity most likely the species will become endangered or even worse, extinct.