In a mixed bag update to Saturday’s mystery washed up whale on Mallacoota beach, we can confirm that it wasn’t Migaloo.
Officers at Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have stated the 36-year-old phantom of the seas will probably still out there somewhere, shakin’ it’s groove thing.
“DELWP Officers have examined images of the dead Humpback Whale at Mallacoota and have confirmed it is a sub-adult female. Migaloo is a male,” acting department commander Peter Bick said as per the ABC.
“DELWP and Parks Victoria staff will be further assessing the carcass over coming days.”
So that’s the good news. Obviously the bad news is that a beautiful white whale has passed away.
There are only a handful of albino humpbacks known to be swimming in Aussie waters and their names are Migaloo, Bahloo, Willow and Migaloo Jr.
According to the , “early assessment of gender and skin degradation suggests it’s not Migaloo,” which is good news (if true) for members of the MigArmy, but sad news nonetheless.
When the beached white whale was first discovered yesterday, the Marine Mammal Foundation MMF hypothesised it was one of Migaloo’s offspring. It thought perhaps it had been mistaken as Migaloo in previous sightings.
I mean, if it isn’t him or one of his kids, then it’s definitely one of his mates. Either way, tears will deffo be shed.
Other experts in the field were initially hesitant make a call on whether or not the beached whale was in fact the fabled legend Migaloo.
“Having seen photos, this very much does appear to be in fact a white whale, but whether it is Migaloo, we are yet to know,” Macquarie University wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta told the ABC.
According to Pirotta, it was unknown how long the whale had been there because the beach was only accessible by water. It may have taken some time to be spotted.
Weathering on the whale’s skin could have also turned it white, but this was just a theory.
“Looking at the images, this does very much appear to be a genuinely white whale,” she said.
“If we can get a really good photo of the tail fluke, we could potentially match that to maybe Migaloo or we could work out if that is in fact Migaloo or not, so that’ll be the first stepping point.
“The next thing would be taking genetic samples, which will be taken anyway because scientists and authorities will undertake a whale necropsy — which is an autopsy essentially — to best identify and understand what has gone on here.
“Has the animal died of natural causes or has the animal had some sort of negative interaction at sea? We just simply don’t know at this stage.”
#BREAKING This is a photo of the #white #whale washed up in #Victoria.— Dr. Vanessa Pirotta (@VanessaPirotta) July 16, 2022
Currently working with other scientists to identify this individual. This may or may not be #Migaloo. Nothing confirmed yet. #watchthisspace
Photo contributed by a very kind person! Thank you! pic.twitter.com/DkMI7YfEOr
Migaloo was first spotted roaming the seas in 1991.
I’m off to go cry after witnessing these pictures. Whether this is Migaloo or not doesn’t matter, seeing this poor whale stranded on a beach like that has ruined my whole month.