A Female Orca Has Died In Captivity At Marineland Antibes
WDCS is saddened to learn of the death of Sharkane, a 27 year old female orca held at Marineland Antibes. Sharkane died on 3rd January this year after contracting a bacterial infection. In the wild female orcas can live up to 80 - 90 years (average 50).
Sharkane was captured in 1989 at the age of 4 in Icelandic waters. Three other whales caught at the same time subsequently died between 1995 – 2004. Three of Sharkane’s offspring, born in captivity are still alive. One of them was transported to America, and is kept as a solitary whale and two others which remain at Marineland in France.
Whales and dolphins in captivity regularly suffer from physical and psychological illnesses which can cause enormous pain and distress. Many, like Sharkane, were taken from wild populations in drive hunts, separating them from their family groups and forcing them into a life entertaining paying customers with up to 6 ‘shows’ a day. Studies have shown that whales and dolphins in captivity have shorter life expectancies than those living in the wild and a high infant mortality rate. Out of 136 wild captured orcas 123 are now dead (90.4%).
One of the arguments made by the captivity industry is that whales and dolphins are spared the rigours of living in the wild.
WDCS asks then, how Sharkane contracted a bacterial infection in captivity and why she died at the relatively young age of 27?
WDSC is working hard to end the capture and display of all whales and dolphins. To find out more about the campaign to end captivity, click here.