Whale watching throughout Baja California is now taking place and a whale was recently captured on camera offering a stunning and very rare experience.
Manuel González, a scuba diving instructor who runs whale watching tours, was out in his boat with friends in Magdalena Bay, in the southern part of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, when he spotted an albino gray whale.
“At first we thought it could be a very whitish gray whale but in this case it was a 100 percent albinism,” Mr Gonzalez told the Daily Mail. “When I saw this whale I couldn’t believe that my dream was coming true. I’ve seen albino animals only in pictures, documentaries and in science articles, but I always said in my mind ‘I wish I could see that for real someday.’”
Albinism is a rare genetic condition where the body fails to produce dark melanin, a pigment found in hair and skin.
Federal environmental authorities recorded the first sighting ever in of an albino gray whale in2008, nicknaming it Galón de Leche (gallon of milk).
In 2017, there was a second sighting as Galón de Leche had given birth to an albino whale that has been since nicknamed Costalito de Sal (little sack of salt).
Authorities have not confirmed whether the latest sighting is Galón de Leche, its calf or a new specimen altogether.
Gray whales have suffered from intensive whaling drastically reduced gray their populations over the last three to four centuries. Of the original three gray whale populations, one in the North Atlantic is extinct, one is critically endangered in the Western North Pacific (with as few as 150 individuals remaining), and one has recovered from very low levels in the Eastern North Pacific and was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List in 1994.