August 7, 2016

Meet Granny: she is a 105 years old killer whale, and her health status is perfect.  Researchers are amazed by how wonderful this sea creature is.

Scientists first found and started tracking the animal in 1971 and reckoned she was about sixty years old. As a female, she had already passed the limit age given to female orcas: fifty; only a few of them live to be a hundred or more, and Granny is one of the wonderful exceptions.

When researchers started their studies, they had chosen a more scientific name for their subject: J12. Now, the killer whale goes both by the names of J12 and Granny (since she reached a considerable age). The orca has been recently seen on the coasts of Washington (the Pacific Ocean).

Simon Pidcock (Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching), who is also the photographer of Granny, made some interesting statements about the animal:

“She was born before the Titanic went down. Can you imagine the things she’s seen in her lifetime?”

When the killer whale was spotted, she was jumping out of the water. Researchers say that this behavior (playfulness) is an indicator of high health status, but also that they might be wrong about her age: she could as well be in her 90s (which is still a considerable age).

Scientists have been tracking Granny’s itinerary, and they know about her activity. Simon Pidcock also added:

“Granny has been swimming pretty much non-stop for over 100 years.”

Orcas, or killer whales, belong to the order of Cetartiodactyla, and the Delphinidae family. They are toothed whales and, just like dolphins, they communicate and track other members of their family via echolocation. Orcas are large sized animals and live in all the oceans of the world. Hence they don’t have a preference for either cold or warm waters. They are highly sociable individuals, living in well-organized groups, led by a female member. Despite their name, killer whales are not dangerous for men, when encountered in their natural environment. Nevertheless, there have been reported cases of captive killer whales which attacked people taking care of them.

Perhaps this is a sign that nature must be left alone to follow its own ways. Granny is a living proof that humans can have animal friends without imprisoning them.

Researchers hope to hear from Granny soon.


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