Saturday, October 8, 2011

Migaloo Jr?

Whales are incredible, intelligent animals and they are absolutely amazing, I think. Many whales are gentle and just as curious about us as we are of them. One of my favourite kind of whale is the Humpback Whale. These huge animals were thought to live about 50 to 60 years but now studies are showing that they may live much longer (one type of baleen whale was age-tested at 211 years).

Humpback Whales were hunted to near extinction for years because of their size, slow speed, and the fact that they are a coastal species. However, efforts to protect the species and build population sizes up have been relatively successful and the species is back on its way.

The Humpback is migratory and people in areas throughout the world know when to start watching for their big friends to show up. However, on June 28th, 1991, people near Byron Bay in Australia sighted Migaloo for the first time and a whole new kind of search started. Legislations to protect Migaloo were instituted and the penalties are harsh. This is because Migaloo is very special. He is a hypo-pigmented humpback; basically he is pure white, all over. He was the only Humpback Whale recorded in history to be pure white...

Until this past September 2011, when another all white calf was video taped swimming around. He has been unofficially called Migaloo Junior but until DNA testing is done, there is no certainty about whether the calf is Migaloo's offspring.

Follow the migration of Migaloo online through his website, on Twitter @Migaloo1 or on many of the websites that track this Humpback's, as well as many others', migration. Spread the word and raise awareness for these gentle giants!

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