Nation & World

Whale that predates the Titanic is still splashing through the Pacific

J2 Granny was seen swimming with high spirits in waters near Washington state, according to Orca Network.
J2 Granny was seen swimming with high spirits in waters near Washington state, according to Orca Network. Nature’s Keeper Photography

She was in ocean waters before the Titanic made its voyage across the Atlantic. She’s lived through two world wars, and is even older than women’s right to vote.

And last week, J2 Granny – the whale that turned 105 this year – was seen swimming with high spirits in waters near Washington state, according to Orca Network.

KIRO 7-TV in Seattle reported that she is believed to have been born in 1911, making her the oldest known living orca, also known as killer whale. Though Orca Network stated there is a 12-year margin around her age, meaning she could be as young as 90, she still surpasses the average lifespan of a wild orca, which is between 60 and 80 years.

In her lifetime she has been spotted mainly in waters around Washington and Canada. In between swims, she’s found time to dabble in politics. Granny was recently the Honorary Mayor of Eastound, Wa., and gave her last mayoral address on June 25.

But Granny doesn’t swim alone – she’s frequently seen traveling in the J-pod, a group of roughly 25 orcas, according to the Orca Network. Researchers spot her by her dorsal fin, along with a gray patch right behind it, according to the Center for Whale Research in an article by The Dodo.

Some have used Granny as an emblem to advocate for keeping whales in the wild and out of captivity. Orca Network reports that due to extreme stress, injuries and infections, Orcas survive less than ten years in captivity on average. Some, like author David Kirby, use Granny as an example of how long whales can live in the wild.

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