The World's Oldest Known Orca Whale Was Just Spotted Along The Canadian Coast
Janill Gilbert stashed this in Orca
The world's oldest known orca whale was recently spotted in Canadian waters, leading her pod up from California into the southern Strait of Georgia, Seattlepi.com reports.
J-2, also known as "Granny," is believed to be 103 years old. This is impressive considering the average lifespan of a wild orca is between 60 and 80 years, according to Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
The elderly whale was seen by Captain Simon Pidcock of Ocean EcoVentures in Cowichan Bay on Friday, May 9. Pidcock told The Province that he was able to identify Granny by a distinctive "half-moon-shaped notch on the trailing side of her dorsal fin."
"She looked really healthy, still going strong," Pidcock said. "We're really excited to have her back."
Granny is part of the southern resident whale population, which is made up of three pods, or groups, of whales: J, K, and L. Granny is the matriarch of J-pod, which has 25 members.
According to The Province, the southern residents "inhabit the coastal waters from Haida Gwaii to Northern California for about eight months of the year."
This population of killer whales is known for their long lifespans. A female whale named K7 died in 2008 at the age of 98 and the female L25 is thought to be 85 years old, Harris said in a statement.
At the most recent sighting, Harris told The Province that Granny and her pack (which includes her great-grandchild) had just completed an 800-mile swim from California in less than eight days. "The thing I found really, really interesting is that she's in the shape to travel, to make the trek she just did with J-Pod," he said.
Interesting stories about the individual whales
The family tree
Another good family tree site:
I had no idea killer whales could live to be 100. That's amazing.
And her age is a problem for SeaWorld*.
"First of all, SeaWorld* has claimed that “no one knows for sure how long killer whales live,” when simple figures or even living and thriving examples -- like Granny -- can give us a pretty good idea. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation project estimates that whales born in captivity only live to 4.5 years old, on average; many of SeaWorld’s* orcas die before they reach their 20s. Perhaps because of their reduced lifespans, the whales are forced to breed continuously and at perilously young ages, which could also diminish their overall health.
Another key aspect of an orca’s life -- which is missing in captivity -- is the ability to swim up to 100 miles per day. When Granny was spotted earlier this week, she had just finished an 800-mile trek from northern California along with her pod. According to animal welfare advocates, long-distance swimming is integral to orcas’ psychological health and well-being; SeaWorld*, however, has gone on record claiming that orcas do not need to swim hundreds of miles regularly, ostensibly to defend the parks’ cruel practice of keeping massive, powerful orcas confined to cramped tanks."
I know, an animal that swims 100 miles/day is never going to be happy and healthy in a aquarium tank! Seaworld will fight this, but the public can change it, never go to any of their shows, don't buy any merchandise from them, and tell others to do the same ;)
Seaworld fighting this is a lose-lose. It hurts the animals and it hurts Seaworld.
SeaWorld should switch to IMAX 3D and splash some water on the viewers to make the experience more immersive. Pun not intended ... at first.
Yes! And/or animatronics. And/or oculus style virtual reality.