5 min read

104-Year-Old 'Granny' Orca Spotted Leaping Wildly Out Of The Ocean

<p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/WildWhales/photos/pcb.958012084222042/958011890888728/?type=1&theater" target="_blank">Facebook/Gary Sutton for Wild Whales Vancouver</a> </p>

A famous 104-year-old orca has made another big splash this week, and a lucky photographer caught her on camera.

Just off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, Granny breached brilliantly as she led her pod through a narrow pass between islands, and Gary Sutton snapped the glamour shots, which Wild Whales Vancouver posted to its Facebook page.

Arguably one of the world's most known animals, Granny, or J2, made waves last year when the discovery of her age (then a ripe 103) spoke to how long orcas can thrive in the wild, as opposed to captivity.

"It was a pretty incredible experience," Gary Sutton, of Wild Whales Vancouver, told The Dodo. "I saw this whale breach almost completely out of the water twice in a row and assumed it was a younger animal because of the crazy air time but when I looked closer later on and matched up the eye patch and chin clip to older photos, I realized it was the matriarch herself!" Sutton has never seen Granny being that active before, he said, and to catch the moment on camera was pretty special. "At approximately 104 years old, seeing her lead her pod out of Active Pass with a breach like that is something I'll never forget."

Granny's birthday is thought to be in 1911 - that's astoundingly before World War I and before the Titanic sank. The discovery of her birthday added to the already concerned public's evidence against keeping intelligent marine mammals like orcas in captivity, and brought potentially bad news for SeaWorld, which profits off such practices.The latest images of the ancient orca are a reminder of how truly majestic these animals are - especially when they're allowed to live their long lives in the wild.Read more about how scientists know how old Granny is here. And follow Gary Sutton's fantastic pictures on Instagram.

Granny's birthday is thought to be in 1911 - that's astoundingly before World War I and before the Titanic sank. The discovery of her birthday added to the already concerned public's evidence against keeping intelligent marine mammals like orcas in captivity, and brought potentially bad news for SeaWorld, which profits off such practices.

The latest images of the ancient orca are a reminder of how truly majestic these animals are - especially when they're allowed to live their long lives in the wild.

Read more about how scientists know how old Granny is here. And follow Gary Sutton's fantastic pictures on Instagram.