Sometimes in life you get the opportunity to see something extraordinarily beautiful… today was certainly one of those days. This morning we met the most gorgeous white Southern Right Whale calf and her mother and everyone on board was beyond excited, we were ecstatic! To see a baby white whale is something you will remember for the rest of your life as it is incredibly rare and such a very special moment.
As this was the first time we have met mother and calf we were very careful and patient with our approach so she could see we were no threat to her precious bub. She was very relaxed and as we stopped to watch she gently approached us. She allowed her baby to to be on her right side which was closest to us showing she was completely relaxed and trusting. We sat like this for the next 30 minutes and enjoyed every millisecond!
The research team from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit sighted the white calf and her mother a few days ago and were able to tag mum. We were very excited to hear this news and hopefully they will be able to recover some very useful data from mumma whale. The little white calf will now stay with mum in the protected Southern Right Whale nursery found in Flinders Bay and continue to grow until both mother and calf are ready to return to their feeding grounds.
Unlike Migaloo the white Humpback whale who is world famous and found on the East Coast, our little whale in Flinders Bay will eventually change her colours. Her white skin will grow to a darker grey and eventually she should be mostly black, however with so few of Southern Right Whale births resulting in white calves we still have a lot to learn about these changes in skin colour/pattern. This is a very exciting time to be Whale Watching in Augusta and we hope our beautiful white baby continues to grow big and strong, we have certainly already fallen in love with her and hope to keep you all updated on her progress!
Date – 29.7.16
Species – Southern Right
Lat – Undisclosed Long – Undisclosed (Nursery Status)
Notes – White patch on fluke and back, looked to be individual whale with no calf