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Some Migaloo Magic

By David Gordon

Migaloo, the white humpback whale triggered joy among those people lucky enough to spot him north of Byron Bay at the weekend.

The sighting, about 2pm on Sunday, was the first time Migaloo had been seen on the Northern Rivers this year.

The hypo-pigmented (albino) humpback and his companions were migrating south when they entered the Bay in a playful manner, surfacing every few minutes.

While the bulk of the accompanying whales continued with their journey, Migaloo lingered behind, entertaining his audience.

Up until last month Migaloo was the only all-white humpback recorded in the world.

Recently video footage was released of an all-white humpback calf, believed to be the offspring of Migaloo.

However this is yet to be confirmed.

“This is the second time I have seen Migaloo; it really is an extraordinary sight,” said masters research student Peta Beeman of Southern Cross University’s Marine Ecology Research Centre.

Miss Beeman, who has been working on a humpback whale identification project for three years, said Migaloo would more than likely continue his southern migration.

This unique, much-loved mammal was first seen 20 years ago off the Byron coast and is expected to continue on to Antarctica with a majority of the humpback population returning to their feeding ground after the breeding season up north.

The average humpback lives for 45-50 years and Miss Beeman expects with Migaloo being approximately 25 years old he will be sighted during migration for many years to come.

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