Oldest member of the southern resident orcas presumed dead

Another member of the southern resident killer whale population is presumed dead.

According to the Center for Whale Research in Washington, J2, or "Granny" was last spotted on October 12 in the Haro Strait and is now believed dead.

The research centre doesn't know what killed her but J2 was estimated to be 78 years of age at the end of 2016. J2 was the oldest whale in the population.

“We have now seen J2 thousands of times in the past forty years, and in recent years she has been in lead of J pod virtually every time that she has been seen by anyone,” said Ken Balcomb in a eulogy letter on the website.

 The presumed death of J2 comes just a few weeks after a different member of J-Pod was found dead near Sechelt.

The research centre estimates the J-pod community is at 78 members at the end of 2016.   

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