Tags: white | humpback | whale | australia

White Humpback Whale Makes Annual Appearance Off Australia

By    |   Friday, 20 Jun 2014 07:25 AM

A rare white humpback whale nicknamed "Migaloo" has been spotted for the third year in a row off the eastern coast of Australia this week.

Migaloo is an albino, one of just a handful who've ever been documented, and was first seen in 1991 when he was but a baby. Researchers now believe he's in his 20s, CNN reported Thursday.

"The helicopter crews are all out photographing him today. He's giving us all quite a parade this year," said Oskar Peterson, who tracks white whale sightings on his website.

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Peterson reported sightings of Migaloo near Bondi Beach and Cronulla south of Sydney as he makes his annual migration, which for some male humpbacks can mean covering nearly 90 miles a day. Because of the energy-draining haul which can prove deadly for some migrating whales, watchers were encouraged to keep a distance of at least a quarter mile away so as to not disturb him.

Migaloo has become a much-beloved and much-anticipated celebrity in some circles over the last few years, and has even garnered a following on Facebook and Twitter — both of which have dedicated profiles for him.

Throughout the week, fan account "@Migaloo1" has been gathering and retweeting pictures of the albino snapped by locals — allowing everyone to join in chasing the community's very own Moby Dick.







USA Today reported that Migaloo — whose name means "White Fella" in the Aboriginal Australian language — could live up to 90 years, based lifespan data for humpback whales.

Initially thought to be one-of-a-kind, researchers found another albino whale in 2011 and nicknamed him Migaloo Junior.

"We have photos of a Junior Migaloo from a few years ago, but we haven't seen him since so we don't know if he survived the South Ocean," said Peterson.



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A rare white humpback whale nicknamed "Migaloo" has been spotted for the third year in a row off the eastern coast of Australia this week.
white, humpback, whale, australia
383
2014-25-20
Friday, 20 Jun 2014 07:25 AM
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