A female albino whale, also known as “Gallon of Milk” made a surprising appearance during a yearly whale census in waters located near Baja California Sur in Mexico. This is her first appearance in seven years.
Luckily, this rare event was caught on video. Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) was in the middle of making the annual animal count when it spotted the distinctive marine mammal and captured a video which shows the whale swimming with a small calf next to her.
“In the recent sighting, this time in the area known as Alambre Island in the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, Gallon of Milk was accompanied by a calf that was completely gray, which must mean she has become a mother for the first time,” reads a CONANP bulletin.
Gallon of Milk: an unusual case of the whale species
The albino gray whale is an unusual case among the whale species. Its bright white color is given thanks to the gene mutation albinism, which causes a lack of pigmentation in sufferers. While this mutation is especially rare among marine mammals such as whales, it is often encountered in other types of mammals, as well as birds and reptiles.
Gallon of milk was first observed in 2009, during the 2008-2009 whale census. It was among a large pack of gray whales.
Annual Whale census
According to the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, a total of 2,211 gray whales showed themselves in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon belonging to the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve this year. CONANP officials have been monitoring the mammals for two decades during the annual census. Officials also reported that About 1,004 calves were born in Mexico.
The gray whale populations were slaughtered by commercial whaling, only leaving two larger groups alive. One of these groups is the 2,211 large group in the eastern Pacific, while the second is much smaller, numbering at only about 130.
Source: Discovery News