The Center for Whale Research is reporting that the southern resident killer whale J2, known as Granny, is presumed dead. As the oldest member of the Jpod, she has been seen thousands of times over the past 40 years.
“In recent years she has been in the lead of J pod virtually every time that she has been seen by anyone,” wrote Center for Whale Research Director Ken Balcomb in the site’s In Memoriam post. “In 1987 we estimated that she was at least 45 years old and was more likely to have been 76 years old.”
Balcomb last saw Granny on Oct. 12, 2016. The southern resident killer whale population is now estimated to be 78 as of Dec. 31, 2016 and the Jpod has 24 individuals.
In 2015, Granny was elected the mayor of Eastsound during the honorary race held every year by Children’s House.