Saturday, July 30, 2011

{Press} White wonder thrills whale watchers

I don't usually post press about southern right whales, but this article was just too intriguing not to share, and what an image!

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Herald Sun | Alycia Amanatidis | July 30,2011


Photo by Mandy Watson, DSE Herald Sun

"This group has been entertaining whale-watchers at Port Fairy. Picture: Mandy Watson, DSE Herald Sun

WHALE watchers are wowing over the "white wonder" frolicking off the coast of Victoria.

The southern right whale has been basking with three darker mates in the peak of mating season.

But Department of Sustainability and Environment official Mandy Watson said the giant of the deep could not be described as an albino.

"Technically it's grey," she said.

She first saw the whale at Logans Beach, at Warrnambool, more than a week ago.

The white wonder has since moved to Port Fairy where it is delighting whale watchers.

Southern right whales migrate each winter from the Antarctic to the Australian coast, where they stay until October.

"They're interacting socially with each other and mating," Ms Watson said.

"It's the breeding season for southern right whales at the moment, which is why they come here."

She said the white whale was an uncommon sight.

"I did see one last year - but it wasn't as white as that - near Portland.

"I'm pretty sure this one is a different whale."

Southern right whales are criticially endangered with as few as 3500 still gliding through the oceans.

"This species was almost whaled to extinction. They're pretty special whales," Ms Watson said."

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