Scientists in Russia have captured the first-known video footage of an all-white killer whale.
The male orca, dubbed “Iceberg”, was sighted during a research trip off Kamchatka.
Iceberg seems to be treated normally by other whales in its pod, according to Erich Hoyt, an orca scientist who was co-leading the trip when the sighting was made.
“Iceberg seems to be fully socialized; we know that these fish-eating orcas stay with their mothers for life, and as far as we can see he’s right behind his mother with presumably his brothers next to him,” Hoyt told BBC News.
The researcher added that the sighting is highly unusual.
“We’ve seen another two white orcas in Russia but they’ve been young, whereas this is the first time we’ve seen a mature adult,” Hoyt said. “It has the full two-meter-high (6.5 feet) dorsal fin of a mature male, which means it’s at least 16 years old — in fact the fin is somewhat ragged, so it might be a bit older.”
The footage was posted by Russian Orcas on Youtube.