A rare white whale that washed up on a beach in Australia isn’t the world-famous humpback known as Migaloo.
The carcass of the whale was discovered on Saturday morning on a beach in the Australian state of Victoria.
Migaloo, the albino whale first spotted off the coast of Australia in 1991, hasn’t been seen for over two years. His current whereabouts are unknown.
A government environment official quoted by the Australian Associated Press has now confirmed the dead white whale found on the beach is a young female and not the male Migaloo.
The all-white male has something of a cult following Down Under, with animal welfare legislation even including a special clause to protect him from harassment by admirers.
Environment official Peter Brick said: ‘Officers have examined images of the dead humpback whale at Mallacoota and have confirmed it is a sub-adult female. Migaloo is a male.’
Local residents have been told not to touch or interfere with the dead female whale, which is estimated to be about 10 metres long.
Migaloo is recorded as being 15metres long and would be turning 33 this year with an expected lifespan of 50 years.
Victoria’s environment department (DELWP Victoria) has said it is an offence to be within 300 metres of the whale carcass and there will be significant penalties for people trying to take things like teeth or skin as souvenirs.
Meanwhile, scientists will conduct genetic testing on the animal to learn more about it.
Macquarie University wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta said photos of the animal did not confirm that it was an albino whale.
‘It seems to be most likely a white whale, or at least a whale that has been a darker pigmentation that has passed out at sea and washed ashore and been weathered over time,’ Dr Pirotta told ABC news.
Source: Read Full Article