An endangered albino whale washed up on a beach near Australia. It is not the famous white humpback Migaloo.
Fears rose that the beloved white whale, the , had been killed when a whale carcass was discovered on Saturday morning.
However, an Australian Associated Press quoted a government environment official who confirmed that the whale was a young female and not the Migaloo male.
This means that Migaloo’s location remains a mystery.
Migaloo was thought to be born in 1986. It has been regularly sighted off the coast Australia’s since 1991, but it has not been seen in two years.
According to marine experts, the location of the whale is consistent with Migaloo’s migration patterns.
Peter Brick, a government environment official, stated that: “Officers examined images of the dead whale at Mallacoota. They confirmed it to be a sub-adult female.” Migaloo is a man.
People were warned not to touch the dead whales or cause damage to them. Victoria’s environment department (DELWP Victoria), has stated that anyone who attempts to collect unauthorised samples, such as teeth, for souvenir purposes will face severe penalties.
Peter Coles, a local resident, was fishing when he crossed the river to view the dead mammal. He told Sky News that it was beautiful, even though it was dead. It was quite amazing. It looked pure white and marble-like. It almost looked real, even though it seemed like a sculpture to me.
It was about 10m in length. It was quite smelly and I didn’t touch. It didn’t look like it had been decomposed, but it looked very, very dead.
In 2010, Migaloo was filmed at 1.2 miles from Green Island, near the Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland. This was the first ever time that such a creature has been captured on film.
Albinism is a rare condition in whales.
Erich Hoyt is a researcher at Whale and Dolphin Conservation in Britain. He stated that “less than 1 in 10,000” humpbacks are likely to be affected.