Is Migaloo dead? Fears for beloved humpback after a white whale was found washed up on a Victorian beach
- White humpback whale found dead on a beach in Mallacoota, Victoria on Sat
- Many fear it may be beloved Migaloo who hasn’t been seen in two years
- Researchers are working to determine if the whale found on beach is Migaloo
- Experts believe dead’s whale location lines up with his known migration pattern
Experts fear Migaloo the white humpback may be dead after an albino whale carcass was found washed up on a beach in Victoria.
Researchers are yet to determine whether the carcass spotted on Big Beach in Mallacoota, in the East Gippsland region, on Saturday afternoon is that of Australia’s favourite whale.
Migaloo hasn’t been spotted for two years after losing his tracking chip, and experts believe the dead’s whale location lines up with his known migration pattern.
Genetic material from the carcass will be extracted by scientists and compared with samples from Migaloo.
The dead mammal’s fluke will also be compared with photographs of the famous white whale.
A dead albino whale (above) found on Big Beach in Mallacoota on Saturday is feared to be beloved white Aussie whale Migaloo
Migaloo (above), an Albino whale seen in Australian waters, hasn’t been spotted for two years after losing his tracking chip
The dead albino whale found on Saturday was reportedly about 10m long
Mallacoota local Peter Coles found the dead whale while walking along Big Beach on Saturday and shared photos to the community’s Facebook page.
‘Looks like a sculpture.. about 10metres long,’ he said.
Migaloo is recorded as being 15metres long and would be turning 33 this year with an expected lifespan of 50 years.
Wildlife scientist Vanessa Pirotta said experts are continuing to work to identify the whale.
‘At this stage we don’t know if this is Migaloo,’ she tweeted.
‘This is very much a developing story. We are working behind the scenes to make sure we collect as much information as possible.’
Marine experts are still working to identify the deceased whale (pictured) while Migaloo lovers hope it isn’t their beloved humpback
Migaloo is considered ‘such a unique whale’ that special legislation was created specifically to protect him from harassment.
The legislation prohibits all water vehicles, including jetskis, from operating within 500m of Migaloo while aircraft cannot operate lower than 2,000ft to see the albino whale.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Victorian Department of Environment for comment.
Migaloo was first sighted back in 1991 off Byron Bay and researchers have been following him ever since.
His name means ‘whitefella’ in several indigenous languages.
Researchers were fascinated by Migaloo’s colouring, as he was believed to be the first fully white whale in the eastern humpback whale population.
Migaloo was first sighted back in 1991 off Byron Bay and researchers have been following him ever since