Albino gray whale spotted near Mexico

One of the rarest whales in the world has been spotted off the the coast of Mexico

One week ago Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) spotted ‘Gallon of Milk’ off the coast of Mexico. Named because of her huge size, Gallon of Milk is a large female gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus).

Gray whales are incredible creatures. They undertake large-scale migrations, spending time feeding in one area then swimming to their breeding ground, making a round trip of up to 12,000 miles.

 

12768166_989322804500452_3548739211837201645_o Noé López

 

She was first spotted in 2008 as a juvenile, when researchers suspected albino characteristics but she had not been observed since. They were unsure where she was or if she was still alive. Individuals with the mutation for albinism are very rare and have a greater struggle to survive. An animal’s success largely depends on their ability to blend in and stay hidden, whether they are sneaking up on prey or avoiding predators. Albinism has been recorded in other taxonomic groups but there are very few documented cases albino marine mammals.

 

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The finding was part of a census carried out by CONANP and came with some good news. Gallon of Milk was spotted with a baby calf, making her a first time mother. Watch the video below:

 

 

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Photographs: Mexico’s National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP)

 

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Image from www.flickr.com/photos/stuutje