Monday, 12 September 2016

Only known white killer whale sighted by scientists for first time since 2012


1 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 1:06PM

An extremely rare white killer whale - the first adult of its kind ever spotted - has been rediscovered by scientists.

The whale, who they have named Iceberg, was sighted off the coast of Russia's Kuril Islands.
It was spotted by American researcher Erich Hoyt, 65, of the Far East Russia Orca Project. He has just released a paper on the white Orcas in Russia, and detailed his sighting of the aquatic mammal.

Iceberg was last spotted in 2012, and seems to be still enjoying a healthy life in its pod.

Just one-in ten thousand killer whales, also known as Orcas, are completely white.

The 22-year-old whale is the only adult Orca to have been spotted in the wild.

Young white killer whales are sometimes seen in the wild, but they usually die before they reach adulthood.

Orcas usually live to around 30, but can survive until 50 or 60. They mature at 15.

Iceberg was last seen was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.

Erich Hoyt spotted him the first time, too, and told the BBC at the time: "We've seen another two white orcas in Russia but they've been young, whereas this is the first time we've seen a mature adult.


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