Skip to main content

One of the most recurring criticisms is the notion that dolphins and orcas have a shorter lifespan under human care. This has been proven false in many scientific studies, to the extent that even the Born Free Foundation has acknowledged that in modern dolphinariums, the lifespan is the same as that of dolphin populations in the wild. But the reality is, if anything, better. The lifespan of dolphins is clearly higher in modern dolphinariums. While it’s rare for dolphins to live more than 30 years in the wild, it’s easy to find animals in European dolphinariums that surpass 40 or 50 years. The oldest dolphins under human care were Nelly (who passed away at 61 in the United States) and Moby (who passed away at 60 in the Nuremberg Zoo).

In our encyclopedia of false arguments against keeping marine mammals under human care, we dismantle one by one the numerous myths that anti-zoo organizations have propagated on this matter.