Granny, the World’s Oldest Known Orca, Is Spotted Alive and Well

Whale watchers off the coast of Washington were recently treated to a thrilling†sight†of†”Granny” — the oldest known living orca in the world.

Granny is now believed to be 105-years-old, and she’s still going strong. She was recently spotted by Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching off the coast of San Juan Island with members of her family. Naturalist Heather MacIntyre, who was on board, captured some incredibly stunning images of her.

J2 Granny

Posted by Nature’s Keeper Photography on†Friday, July 29, 2016

The great grandmother, who is formally known as J2, is a member of the J-pod, which is one of three pods that make up the population of the Pacific Northwest’s beloved Southern Resident Killer Whales.

J2 Granny

Posted by Nature’s Keeper Photography on†Friday, July 29, 2016

Granny’s lifespan has†fascinated and inspired orca advocates, and her longevity has also certainly crushed some of the captivity industry’s claims about just how long orcas live.

While the latest sighting of Granny is unquestionably something to celebrate, serious concerns remain that she and the rest of her family are facing a questionable future at best. Despite protection in both the U.S. and Canada, these orcas have yet to recover from the trauma of captures for public display that took place in the 1970s, and their survival continues to hang in the balance.

Even with a recent baby boom, their population is now made up of just 83 individuals, not counting Lolita who is at the Miami Seaquarium. They continue to face a barrage of threats ranging from boat traffic and noise to toxic pollutants. Still, many believe that the biggest problem today is a lack of Chinook salmon, which is their main food source.

Now advocates for these orcas are pushing for the removal of dams on the Snake River in Washington and Klamath River in Oregon and Northern California to help salmon recover. It would be an unforgivable tragedy to let these orcas slip away when we know what needs to be done to save them.

How to Help

For more info on these orcas and ways to support their recovery, check out the Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Salmon Initiative, Orca Network, Center for Whale Research and Whale and Dolphin Conservationís Donít Let Orcas Be Dammed campaign.

If you’re a resident of Canada, you have until August 14 to ask the government to implement a meaningful action plan that will help this unique population of orcas recover.

You can also help by signing and sharing the petition urging lawmakers in Washington state to support efforts to remove the Snake River dams.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

196 comments

John B
John B6 months ago

Thanks Alicia for sharing the info. links and great photos.

SEND
Barbara B
Barbara B11 months ago

GOOD NEW, BUT WHERE THE ISLAND OF S. JUAN IS?

SEND
Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adabaabout a year ago

About as old as Granny was, my Granny was 100 in 2004 when she died.

SEND
Maria Papastamatiou
Maria Papastamatiouabout a year ago

Glad to read about Granny. Sorry and angry to be reminded that humans are nature's worst enemy. (Environmental abuse, animal slavery and maltreatment, over-fishing are thre reasons why so few orcas are left.)

SEND
M. M.
M. Mabout a year ago

Long live Granny!!! ;-)

SEND
federico bortoletto
federico babout a year ago

Grazie del bellissimo articolo. Petizione firmata.

SEND
Jennifer H.
Jennifer Habout a year ago

Amazing news. We must do more to save the Orca's.

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Miss D.
Misss Dabout a year ago

Hello Angel L. I am sure that you did not mean for your comment to come across as racist or ignorant, but I am afraid that it could be seen as that quite easily. Lots of nations do good things and bad things for animals. One could say 'if only those stupid Americans would allow Lolita (and all their other captive cetaceans) to go free' for example, but clearly, that would not be constructive either.

SEND
iveta NoFwdsPls cer
iveta NoFwdsPls cerabout a year ago

That's wonderful , thank you

SEND