Rare white whale spotted in New Zealand

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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SEA OF CORTEZ, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO - 2015/02/20: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) slapping the pectoral fin on the water in the Bahia de La Paz, Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Humpback mother and calf.Baja Coast MexicoThe 2 whales were swimming along the Baja coast of Mexico, in the Pacific Ocean just outside Cabo
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USA, Alaska, Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaengliae) sending up plumes of mist while group feeding in Chatham Strait on summer evening
(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
A rare albino buffalo (C) grazes next to its mother (L) in Hellsgate national park in Naivasha after it was discovered by wardens. Kenya Wildlife Service said that this is the first ever albino buffalo found in the country's park as albinism in wild animals is very rare. Scientists say that though the animal is in good health, it's an easy target as it stands out due to lack of colour pigmentation. (Photo via AFP/Getty Images)
A young female albino alligator is seen on March 26, 2014 at the park 'La planete des crocodiles' in Civaux, near the French western city of Poitiers. (Photo by Guillaume Souvant, AFP/Getty Images)
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A white peacock opens its feathers in a cage in the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on June 9, 2011. The peacock is the national bird of India and the white peacock is often mistaken for an albino, but it is in fact a recessive mutation. (Photo by Noah Seelam, AFP/Getty Images)
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A rescued albino blackbird is pictured at the animal rescue station in Bartosovice, Moravia. There are maximum several dozens of albino blackbirds in Europe. In nature, most of them do not survive because others attack them. This first in Czech Republic albino blackbird is one month old and was found in a park. AFP PHOTO/ RADEK MICA (Photo credit should read RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)
A albino king snake is pictured at the terrarium fair in Berlin, on February 2, 2013. Around 50 exhibitors are taking part in the trade fair for lizards, snakes, spiders, animal food and trade literature. AFP PHOTO / MAURIZIO GAMBARINI GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MAURIZIO GAMBARINI/AFP/Getty Images)
A white albino buffalo named Dakota Miracle grazes in a pasture September 30, 2010 at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown North Dakota. The herd of about 30 buffalo boasts three white buffalo that are a big attraction for the museum not only because of the rarity of an albino buffalo but also because of the sacredness that some Native Americans place on a white buffalo. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
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