Fears Australia’s famous white humpback whale Migaloo is dead, after not being seen for over two years during the annual migration of the whales.
The whale’s pale skin, brought on by a genetic mutation, distinguishes the relatively young animal, which was discovered 30 years ago.
The word “migaloo” translates to “white fella” from Aboriginal community in Queensland.
Since Migaloo has not been spotted during the 2,000-mile journey from Antarctica to the tropics, marine biologists have begun to suspect that the whale has passed away.
Some whales might decide to migrate sooner, later, or even somewhere else, like New Zealand.
Some individuals can decide against migrating at all and stay in the Southern Ocean.
When and where Migaloo chooses to swim may also depend on environmental factors like currents and water temperature.
Migaloo and other whales are unfortunately regularly threatened by a variety of human-caused hazards in the water, including as entanglement in fishing nets or collisions with ships.
In addition, they are vulnerable to predators like as killer whales.
Let’s hope to see Migaloo again because this year’s yearly migration won’t end until October or November.