No body has been sighted, but after months of missing her, researchers have declared that the oldest orca in Puget Sound’s J pod is presumed dead.
The loss of J2, better-known as Granny, marks a turning point for the small community of southern resident killer whales in Puget Sound and its environs. Orca communities are centered around older females, which made Granny the leader of J pod.
It’s not known precisely how old Granny was, but Ken Balcomb, executive director and principal investigator at the Center for Whale Research, said estimates put her likely age at 76 back in 1987. That would make her 105 years old now.