White killer whale observed off Russia - Images and video26/04/2012 11:11:22
Other white whales
April 2012: In the North Pacific, east of the Kamchatka Peninsula near the Commander Islands, the first-ever adult all-white, probably albino, orca bull has been observed by scientists from the universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The scientists of this international science project, studying acoustic and social complexity in whale and dolphin populations in the region, called this unique orca "Iceberg" after they saw his towering 2-metre white dorsal fin breaking the surface.
Iceberg has been found to live in a family unit, also called a pod, with 12 relatives. His pod is one of 61 identified social orca units in the region based on 12 years of research by the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP).
Russia's largest marine reserve
"In many ways, Iceberg is a symbol of all that is pure, wild and extraordinarily exciting about what is out there in the ocean waiting to be discovered," says Erich Hoyt, FEROP co-director.
"The challenge is to keep the ocean healthy so that such surprises are always possible."
To learn more about orcas in Russian waters (English and Russian): www.russianorca.org