Information on the lifespan of gray whales is limited, however, estimates range from 25 to 80 years old. Mortality rates are highest for young gray whales with an average annual calf mortality of 5.4%. About 75% of first-year mortalities occur during the first 2 weeks after birth. Mortality records indicate that calves represent about 91% of deaths at winter calving grounds, followed by yearlings (0 to 19.5%) and adults (0 to 5%). Annual adult mortality is estimated to be between 0.1 and 5% per year. Due to their large size and consequent feeding requirements, gray whales cannot be held in captivity.
Status: wild: 25 to 80 years.
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