Scientists announced Monday the discovery of the first known all-white adult killer whale. Dubbed Iceberg, the male orca was spotted off eastern Russia traveling with a pod of 12 other orcas. Iceberg is estimated to be about 16 years old. All previously spotted white orcas have been young and not fully grown.
Erich Hoyt, co-director of the Far East Russia Orca Project, said researchers hope to find Iceberg again. “With regard to Iceberg’s pod, we have no genetic data but we are hoping to meet them again in summer 2012 and learn more about the phenomenon of white whales, why they occur, what it means and whether Iceberg is a true albino — perhaps we can catch a glimpse of a pink eye — or “just” one of the most beautiful orcas anyone has ever seen,” he wrote in a blog post.
"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," Hoyt said in a statement. "The challenge is to keep the ocean healthy so that such surprises are always possible."
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