New footage of a white orca spotted off Vancouver Island last weekend gives the clearest glimpse yet of the rare mammal with its pod.
The Department of Fisheries and Ocean captured drone video of the juvenile Bigg’s killer whale while it was swimming near Campbell River on Saturday.
Reports of the sighting have the local whale watching companies excited to take a look for themselves.
“It’s very rare to see a whale like this. I’ve never personally seen one in the five years I’ve been doing this,” said Shea Majbroda with Campbell River Whale Watching.
“It has a rare pigment in their skin that almost makes them look albino, like a ghost,” he explained.
Federal scientists said last month’s discovery represents the first pale orca in B.C. in a decade.
The white whale has been travelling with a family of about 10 transients, which includes some young calves called the T-46s.
“Transient whales like to travel quite a bit so it is hard to say if it is going to stick around the Campbell River area, but at least we know where it is and where it is going,” Majbroda said.
Exactly what causes the faded complexion remains largely a mystery to scientists.
It could take experts years to find out the answers. Most suggest to just enjoy the inspiring view if you are lucky enough to see it, because this whale may not be white forever.