New footage of a white orca spotted off Vancouver Island last weekend gives the clearest glimpse yet of the rare mammal with its pod.
The Department of Fisheries and Ocean captured drone video of the juvenile Bigg’s killer whale while it was swimming near Campbell River on Saturday.
The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means “moon,” and is known to scientists as T46-B1B. Researchers have yet to confirm its gender, but believe it’s roughly a year old.
Some experts believe the orca has Chediak-Higashi syndrome, a genetic condition that can cause albinism in mammals, while others suspect the grey-like film that’s caused its colour to lighten is something different. Neither have been confirmed.
The Bigg’s killer whale family travels between southern California and Alaska, hunting for seals and sea lions.
In late May, the same orca was spotted with its transient pod near Nanaimo.