105-year-old orca known as ‘Granny’ has died, researchers say
The oldest southern resident killer whale has died, according to the Center for Whale Research, which is based in Washington state.
J2, also known as “Granny,” has not been spotted since Oct. 12 and is now presumed dead, researcher Ken Balcomb wrote in a blog post Monday.
Researchers estimated she was 105 years old.
“She is one of only a few ‘resident’ whales for which we do not know the precise age because she was born long before our study began,” Balcomb wrote.
J2’s death comes weeks after 18-year-old Jpod resident J34 was found dead near Sechelt. Researchers said it appeared J34 sustained blunt force trauma to his head and neck that may have been a contributing factor in the whale’s death.
The death of J2 means there are now an estimated 78 killer whales among the southern residents — a clan of orcas that live in the waters off southern British Columbia and Washington State.
WATCH: ‘Granny’ was spotted in the Strait of Georgia in 2014
– With files Yuliya Talmazan and The Canadian Press
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