4 January 2017
The Centre for Whale Research has announced that the 105 year old orca, known as Granny (orca J2), is presumed dead. “Granny’’, the oldest known orca (or killer whale), was last seen in October 2016 and was the leader (or matriarch) of J pod. Her presumed death marks the 7th death of a Southern Resident Killer Whale in 2016, bringing the wild population to only 78 individuals across all three family groups (J, K, and L).
Granny was born in approximately 1910 and enjoyed a life of freedom in the wild. She has managed to avoid the multiple orca captures that took place in the 1960s to source individual animals for the captivity industry. The passing of Granny at 105 years old is a life to be celebrated and reminds us that our continued flight for the plight of these animals in captivity is something that will not waver.
Not all orcas are able to live their lives wild and free. One such individual who has not been so lucky is Lolita, the orca displayed at Miami Seaquarium. She was captured from the waters of Puget sound, off the coast of Washington in 1970 at just 4 years of age. She has been kept in the smallest tank in America for 46 years. Last year, Born Free launched its #SanctuariesNotTanks campaign to bring the truth of cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) captivity to the public.