First ever adult all-white orca whale sighted in the wild
Scientists captured video of what they believe to be the first ever adult all-white orca whale sighted in the wild. / Far East Russia Orca Project/RTV
(CBS News) While on a research expedition off Russia's far eastern coast, scientists have captured footage of what is believed to be the first ever adult, all-white orca whale in the wild.
According to Reuters, scientists and students from the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) announced Monday that they spotted the orca twice during an expedition off the coast of the Bering Island in Aug. 2010.
FEROP co-director Eric Hoyt said the whale is the third white orca found in the wild since a white female orca was captured by an aquarium in 1970, RTV reports.
"We've seen another two white orcas in Russia but they've been young, whereas this is the first time we've seen a mature adult," Hoyt told BBC News.
The adult orca, nicknamed "Iceberg," is said to be at least 15 to 16-years-old by its fully-grown dorsal fin.
Scientist hope to confirm soon whether the orca is an albino. According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, Albinism (from Latin albus, "white") is a congenital disorder in which pigment in the hair is partially or completely absence due to a lack of an enzyme found in melanin.
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