Has anybody EVER been able to figure out why whales who were captured from the wild seem to have longer lifespans in captivity as opposed to ones who were born in captivity?
Like, I’m not talking about how no captive-born orcas making it to the average yet. Captive-bred orcas haven’t really been around long to do that. But, it just seems like when a captive-born does die, it’s always at a frighteningly young age. And then you have whales like Corky and Lolita who are still hanging on at 40+ years old.
Early development in animals is REALLY important and influential in a variety of ways.
Atop all the bizarre stresses of captivity which they just aren’t built for, I suspect there’s something missing (physiologically, psychologically) that ends up being a slow but inescapable detriment.
Me and darling-taima had a theory since in the wild orca drink their mothers milk until age 4 (they are weaned to solids at 1 to 2 but they do supplement their diet with milk till 4 as well- hence the large gap between calves) whereas captives are often separated before age 4 / parent dies / rejected and only given forumla for a year ect.
my sources are a few papers and a national geographic book for kids actually but eerr posts about it with them are on 1 and 2
I think this whole theory is flawed right from the beginning. If I remember correctly in all of the other recent discussions it was agreed on (to say it in a friendly way) that Lolita and Corky (together with the handful of other older wild-caught orcas) RIGHT NOW (might change over the course of time) are still exceptions and not the rule. I don’t have time to do statistics but I just flipped through the data on orcahome and there are also many, many wild-caught whales that died really young. So I don’t think it’s possible to make a claim that captive-born orcas die younger than wild-caught ones.
Not sure if your reffering to fightingforwhales original theory or the weaning theory above. I haven’t looked into it enough (including the wild caught orca under the age of 4 like i said in a reblog) That theory is not really to say that captive borns live shorter lives but to see if its a possible explanation for the large amount of deaths in captivity overall. (Since in seaworlds breeding program they only get forumula for one year ect and wild captures got none) Its a work in progress again like i said in a reblog theres not much available data on the causes of death in early wild caught orca (before sale)
I was mostly referring to FFW’s original theory. But I’m also interested in your weaning theory. The sources you’ve mentioned in the linked saddle patch posts, do you only have them in printed form or are they also available online?
They are available online unfortunately the settings for that blog has the links the same colour as text- drives me bananas!
(and theres this book page as well X )
then the other post more has sources pertaining to captivity’s weaning practise that I could find X