Granny, the 103 year old Orca, also known as J2, is the oldest known orca, or killer whale, alive. The average lifespan of a wild female orca is 60 – 90 yrs.
Granny, along with her pod, made her annual return to her home waters in British Columbia just in time for Mother’s Day this year. It was the first time that the pod of resident whales had been spotted in the area this spring. The pod normally spends the summers in the waters between the mainland and Vancouver Island now known as the Salish Sea.
As the oldest known orca, Granny is used in arguments against keeping whales in captivity, due to the reduced lifespan of whales in captivity. The average lifespan for captured orca is 20 to 30 years.
Stories such as travelling 800 miles in a week are used to counter arguments by sea parks that whales do not need a large area to swim in.According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas’ psychological health and well-being. Certain aquariums are known to give misinformation to visitors, to justify what they do.
I had the privilege of seeing Granny 2 years ago, when she was escorting her 6 week old great (great) grandchild. It was thrilling! There are many whale watching companies in BC, and I seem to always use Steveston Seabreeze Adventures.