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Beyond their shrinking prey, they’re vulnerable to toxic chemicals like PCBs, noise pollution that interferes with their communication and oil spills, particularly the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident. He’s been spotted a handful of times in the Salish Sea by local whale watchers and cropped up again this weekend, Island Adventures Whale Watching lead naturalist Erin Gless told CNN. Tl’uk is not the first ghostly orca to have been spotted in British Columbia, in 2009 a pale transient orca calf was spotted but sadly died soon after. A white killer whale? Success! This family pod is often seen in and around the waters of Vancouver Island. The young’s mother is T046B1 which makes his name T046B1B…. Tl'uk is a transient killer whale, living in a huge range of waters. A rare white orca calf has been spotted along the Washington coast, delighting whale watchers lucky enough to see him. Success! Chimo passed of pneumonia at age 4. To complete your CNN profile and ensure you are able to receive important account information, please verify your email address. Tl'uk is a grayish-white Bigg's killer whale that was first spotted in November 2018 By Kelli Bender. Yes! October 15, 2019 03:37 PM Advertisement. By Caitlin O'Kane August 20, 2020 / 2:39 ... Tl'uk is a two-year-old male killer whale. Named Tl’uk, the two-year-old pale male was swimming alongside a pair of adult orcas when he was identified by whale watchers on August 7. In the Salish Indigenous language, “Tl’uk” is the word for the moon. Rare white killer whale – one of only a handful ever recorded – spotted in Alaska. Killer whales are usually black an white, but this particular whale was solid white — an extremely rare occurrence. Please click the button below to agree to our Terms and Conditions and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. A white killer whale was spotted off the coast of Southeast Alaska earlier this month by researchers on a charter boat. EDIT: Possibly Tl’uk the grey orca! PHOTO: Tl’uk is a Bigg’s killer whale, a transient type of orca that hunts seals and sea lions up and down the West coast. He and his pod swim anywhere between eastern Alaska and northern California, said Towers. Scientists aren’t actually 100% sure on why Tl’uk is this ghostly greyish-white colour. FB Tweet. Forget white walkers, it’s all about this white w’orca -Tl’uk! Paul Pudwell considers himself lucky to have crossed paths with a rare white orca several times over the past 18 months. “It’s a coast Salish word, I believe means bright moon, appropriately,” Garrett said. A second theory is Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome, this affects the immune system and therefor the animal’s longevity. Tl’uk the white orca has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound this month. The rare whale was swimming amongst a pod of fellow orcas and stood out immediately from the crowd. A RARE white killer whale spotted off the coast of Alaska is thought to be one of only five in the world. © 2020 Cable News Network. But nearly one year later, he’s growing and packing on pounds–all signs he’s in good health. A Petersburg-based whale watching and charter company documented the white orca in the Inside Passage this summer. A white killer whale? CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. An incredibly rare white killer whale, which is thought to be one of only five in the world, has been spotted near Alaska. He’s not an albino whale–he’s more of a cloudy grey–but it’s still unusual for orcas to be anything but black-and-white, a tool they use to camouflage themselves while stalking prey. So, it seems that if you’re out in the waters these transient killer whales call home be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a little grey shape that’s splashing around a bit differently from the other orca. He was later spotted in 2015- a positive sign that grey orca can live for a substantial amount of time! In the early 1970s, a female orca named Chimo who was held in captivity, was documented to have suffered from Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome. He said the white whale, known as Tl’uk, is a juvenile whale born in 2018. A once in a lifetime sighting, killer whales with leucism are incredibly rare and even researchers never expect to see one in their career. Paul Pudwell caught a sight of Tl’uk, the rare white killer whale off Sooke waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Tuesday, Aug. 26. Most of Tl’uk’s body is a pale white. Since being spotted in November 2018 the crew at SpringTide have been lucky enough to see Tl’uk many times. “He breaks the water in a very similar way to a harbour porpoise- he pushes the water out the way with his head rather than gliding through it smoothly to catch a breath.”. In 2010 a white male orca nicknamed ‘Iceberg’ was spotted off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, at this time he was believed to be 16 years of age. Southern resident killer whales are considered endangered, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Washington whale watchers have followed Tl'uk, a one-year-old killer whale calf, since his birth. Researchers aren't sure why Tl'uk doesn't share his family's black-and-white coloring, but he appears to be in good health, steadily gaining weight and keeping up with his pod. The rare white orca spotted off Sooke last weekend is sticking around. Tl’uk, the two-year old transient orca whale, is not really white, but grey. Author of the article: So why is this little orca a different colour to the rest of his family? Yes! Forget white walkers, it’s all about this white w’orca -Tl’uk! Tl'uk is B.C. (for more on what a transient orca is click here) Only time will tell how this special and rare orca will do- we’re excited to see! “ I’ve noticed that Tl’uk seems to swim a bit differently than the other orca I have seen out in the wild. One of only about five alive in the world! Tl’uk, whose name means “moon” in Coastal Salish, is already something of a local celebrity in north coastal Washington. Island Adventures Whale Watching. Perhaps another clue or symptom of Tl’uk’s grey colour? A rare, white orca named Tl’uk has been seen for the first time in Alaska waters. “It’s a coast Salish word, I believe means bright moon, appropriately,” Garrett said. A white killer whale, ... Tl’uk — a word for moon in the language of the Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest — is a 2-year-old male orca that has not yet left his family group. 's white orca lives near Vancouver Island and it isn't hard to miss, according to CTV News Vancouver Island. This juvenile killer whale, first spotted in late November 2018, is part of the T046B pod. When he breaks the surface he seems to have a lot more water coming out with him than the smooth surfacing of the adults.” Captain Ian told me. Email. Onboard Naturalist/Biologist for SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours, 1119 Wharf Street Victoria, B.C. Tiny Tl’uk was first spotted in November 2018, and he’s about a year old, she said. Published More. He's become a local celebrity among coastal communities for his rare coloring. Rare white orca spotted in Juan de Fuca Strait Only 10 orcas worldwide have been documented with the condition, and scientists believe Tl’uk is one of five living right now. We hope that Tl’uk will live for a long time yet and it does help that he is part of a transient orca pod. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. His gray-white appearance isn’t due to albinism, as one might think, however—albino orcas have pure-white skin and pink eyes. SpringTide I – Fishing & Private Charters. The young’s mother is T046B1 which makes his name T046B1B…. the fish’s numbers have significantly declined, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Gless said she’s not sure how Tl’uk got his coloring–it worried researchers who first thought it signaled his health was declining. 11:23 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2019. A rare white orca calf has been spotted along the Washington coast, delighting whale watchers lucky enough to see him.. Tl’uk, whose name means … The transient orca feed on other marine mammals such as seals and sea lions- which luckily are in a high abundance around our shores! Meet Tl’uk, the two year old white killer whale/orca from the Canadian Bigg’s/Transient Killer Whale pod T046. The final idea is that Tl’uk could just grow into his natural black and white colour as he grows older- perhaps mum had just run out of black ink at the time of birth! An incredibly rare all-white orca whale has been spotted off the coast of Alaska. A white killer whale called Tl’uk was spotted off the coast of Alaska earlier this month, dazzling thousands online in an amazing video. A Warner Media Company. This grey/white orca T46B1B, nicknamed Tl’uk, was identified by Alaska Sea Adventures off Cape Bendel, Frederick Sound, August 7 th, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Hayes) A Petersburg-based whale watching and charter company has documented a rare white orca swimming the waters of the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska this summer. Most recently Captain Ian saw Tl’uk on the 28th December 2019, while out on one of our winter wildlife zodiac tours. All Rights Reserved. He said the white whale, known as Tl’uk, is a juvenile whale born in 2018. (Facebook/Sooke Coastal Explorations) Rare white orca spotted near Sooke two weeks after hunting in Alaska. not very catchy I know hence the nick name Tl’uk. Washington’s resident orcas that feast exclusively on salmon are having less luck–the fish’s numbers have significantly declined, and as its prey shrinks, so do orca populations in the Pacific Northwest. 250.384.4444 | 1.800.470.3474, © 2021 SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours. Tl’uk was determined to be a 2-year-old Bigg’s killer whale. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Translated, his name comes from the Coast Salish word for ‘moon’ and it’s easy to see why he was given it! The rare white orca spotted off Sooke last weekend is sticking around. Tl’uk, the rare white whale, is part if a Bigg's transient killer whale family, known for eating marine mammals and visiting the region. If an account exists, we've sent an email with a link to reset your password. Verification email has been resent. This juvenile killer whale, first spotted in late November 2018, is part of the T046B pod. Tl’uk, a juvenile orca with white pigmentation swims near Petersburg, Aug. 6. Pinterest. A white orca! The two-year old transient orca whale is not really white, but grey. Incredible views of T046B1B (known locallaly as Tl'uk) expressing high energy surface behaviour with his family. While it is uncommon to see, a researcher says Tl'uk, a white orca living near the waters off Vancouver Island, isn't that hard to find. An incredibly rare white orca calf dubbed “Tl'uk” has been spotted off the coast of Washington State. However, they can most often be found hanging around Vancouver Island, particularly interior waters like the Strait of Georgia or the Johnstone Strait. Meet Tl’uk, the two year old white killer whale/orca from the Canadian Bigg’s/Transient Killer Whale pod T046. Its one thing to see a killer breach, its another to see a WHITE killer whale breach! A RARE white killer whale spotted off the coast of Alaska is thought to be one of only five in the world. A once in a lifetime sighting, killer whales with leucism are incredibly rare and even researchers never expect to see one in their career. Captain Ian, who spends a lot of time on the water with these magnificent creatures, had some interesting observations about this little guy. Well, he is not an albino as his eyes are not pale or reddish. Keeping up with them parallel to their position wasn’t even an option with … Password reset email has been resent. One of only about five alive in the world! This family pod is often seen in and around the waters of Vancouver Island. The white orca could have one of a possible three current running theories: leucism which is where an animal partially loses its colour pigmentation in skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticles, but not the eyes. However—Albino orcas have pure-white skin and pink eyes Aug. 6 in good health grey... System and therefor the animal ’ s a coast Salish word, I believe means moon. 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