Inquiries were made to all oceanaria that maintain killer whales in North America. Causes of death determined at necropsy included mediastinal abscesses, pyometra, pneumonia, influenza, salmonellosis, nephritis, Chediak-Higashi syndrome, fungus infection, ruptured aorta, cerebral hemorrhage and a perforated postpyloric ulcer. Captive females appear to have a higher rate of mortality than males. Growth rates for whales that died were greater than for those that survived.
This work was supported in part by Office of Naval Research Contract NR136-886.