Rare white whale spotted in New Zealand

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Rare White Whale Spotted In New Zealand

White humpback whales are extremely rare in the world. Migaloo was the first one to be seen back in 1991 and since then, he has usually been spotted off the coast of Australia during the annual migration from Antarctica to the tropical waters.

Recently, however, researchers believe they saw the whale swimming around New Zealand.

They spotted the white humpback along with a typical black humpback while conducting a whale survey in Cook Strait.

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Rare white whale spotted in New Zealand
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(photo: Pat Hawks/Flickr)
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In a New Zealand's Department of Conservation news release, the boat captain is quoted as saying, "I thought, wow that whale is white, that is amazing!"

The survey team says that the whale has same distinctive features as Migaloo.

According to the New Zealand's Department of Conservation, "a skin sample for DNA analysis was taken from the white whale ... with a biopsy dart and will be compared with Migaloo's DNA to confirm whether it is definitely the same whale. The analysis will also identify whether the whale is albino or whether its whiteness is due to color variation."

The department notes that yellow spots seen on the whale's body are marine algae which will disappear as the white whale spends more time in warmer waters.

Only four white humpback whales have been reported around the world according to survey leader Nadine Bott.

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Rare white whale spotted in New Zealand
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