This has been an exciting week for wildlife discoveries on the west coast. The latest being a rare white Killer Whale off the coast of Alaska. Having been reportedly seen last month and perhaps as long as 3 years ago this whale has since eluded researchers studying pods of whales in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands. Although white in color from afar it’s believe not to be albino, but rather yellow/brown in color. Either way the sighting is quite exciting and is electrifying wildlife watchers worldwide.
PHOTO IN THE NEWS: Rare White Killer Whale Spotted – National Geographic News
A condition known as Chediak-Higashi Syndrome could be a cause for the difference in pigmentation of this whale. Inherited from the parents, the rare Chediak-Higashi Syndrome is a disease of the immune and nervous system. One of the most distinct ways to tell if an animal is a true albino is to see if it has a pink eye. No one was able to obtain a picture of the eye of this individual, so the photographs will have to be compared to the other white whale sightings in the area to determine if it is a match–and a true albino.
High resolution photo via NOAA
Photo credit: H. Fearnbach, NMML,
NMFS permit 782-1719
[tags]white, Killer Whale, Alaska, rare, wildlife, whale, news, Aleutian, island[/tags]