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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. Well, he is not an albino as his eyes are not pale or reddish. 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. Forget white walkers, it’s all about this white w’orca -Tl’uk! Keeping up with them parallel to their position wasn’t even an option with … Rare white killer whale – one of only a handful ever recorded – spotted in Alaska. 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. 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 become a local celebrity among coastal communities for his rare coloring. This family pod is often seen in and around the waters of Vancouver Island. 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. Tl’uk, a juvenile orca with white pigmentation swims near Petersburg, Aug. 6. More. Paul Pudwell considers himself lucky to have crossed paths with a rare white orca several times over the past 18 months. Email. Scientists aren’t actually 100% sure on why Tl’uk is this ghostly greyish-white colour. Washington whale watchers have followed Tl'uk, a one-year-old killer whale calf, since his birth. Tiny Tl’uk was first spotted in November 2018, and he’s about a year old, she said. 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. The rare whale was swimming amongst a pod of fellow orcas and stood out immediately from the crowd. This juvenile killer whale, first spotted in late November 2018, is part of the T046B pod. Success! By Caitlin O'Kane August 20, 2020 / 2:39 ... Tl'uk is a two-year-old male killer whale. EDIT: Possibly Tl’uk the grey orca! The two-year old transient orca whale is not really white, but grey. 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 … Since being spotted in November 2018 the crew at SpringTide have been lucky enough to see Tl’uk many times. Island Adventures Whale Watching. Tl'uk is a grayish-white Bigg's killer whale that was first spotted in November 2018 By Kelli Bender. In the Salish Indigenous language, “Tl’uk” is the word for the moon. Incredible views of T046B1B (known locallaly as Tl'uk) expressing high energy surface behaviour with his family. Perhaps another clue or symptom of Tl’uk’s grey colour? The transient orca feed on other marine mammals such as seals and sea lions- which luckily are in a high abundance around our shores! Gless said she’s not sure how Tl’uk got his coloring–it worried researchers who first thought it signaled his health was declining. A white killer whale was spotted off the coast of Southeast Alaska earlier this month by researchers on a charter boat. Published An incredibly rare white orca calf dubbed “Tl'uk” has been spotted off the coast of Washington State. This family pod is often seen in and around the waters of Vancouver Island. 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. A once in a lifetime sighting, killer whales with leucism are incredibly rare and even researchers never expect to see one in their career. To complete your CNN profile and ensure you are able to receive important account information, please verify your email address. Captain Ian, who spends a lot of time on the water with these magnificent creatures, had some interesting observations about this little guy. Meet Tl’uk, the two year old white killer whale/orca from the Canadian Bigg’s/Transient Killer Whale pod T046. 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. One of only about five alive in the world! Onboard Naturalist/Biologist for SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours, 1119 Wharf Street Victoria, B.C. His gray-white appearance isn’t due to albinism, as one might think, however—albino orcas have pure-white skin and pink eyes. He said the white whale, known as Tl’uk, is a juvenile whale born in 2018. Its one thing to see a killer breach, its another to see a WHITE killer whale breach! A rare white orca calf has been spotted along the Washington coast, delighting whale watchers lucky enough to see him. Southern resident killer whales are considered endangered, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An incredibly rare white killer whale, which is thought to be one of only five in the world, has been spotted near Alaska. All Rights Reserved. But nearly one year later, he’s growing and packing on pounds–all signs he’s in good health. One of only about five alive in the world! However, they can most often be found hanging around Vancouver Island, particularly interior waters like the Strait of Georgia or the Johnstone Strait. The young’s mother is T046B1 which makes his name T046B1B…. The young’s mother is T046B1 which makes his name T046B1B…. FB Tweet. 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. Success! Please click the button below to agree to our Terms and Conditions and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. Verification email has been resent. Tl’uk was determined to be a 2-year-old Bigg’s killer whale. Yes! 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. Most recently Captain Ian saw Tl’uk on the 28th December 2019, while out on one of our winter wildlife zodiac tours. Killer whales are usually black an white, but this particular whale was solid white — an extremely rare occurrence. A white killer whale? 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. Tl'uk is B.C. Tl’uk the white orca has been wowing onlookers all over Puget Sound this month. A Warner Media Company. PHOTO: The rare white orca spotted off Sooke last weekend is sticking around. “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.”. A white orca! A once in a lifetime sighting, killer whales with leucism are incredibly rare and even researchers never expect to see one in their career. So why is this little orca a different colour to the rest of his family? Forget white walkers, it’s all about this white w’orca -Tl’uk! 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. the fish’s numbers have significantly declined, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “ I’ve noticed that Tl’uk seems to swim a bit differently than the other orca I have seen out in the wild. (Facebook/Sooke Coastal Explorations) Rare white orca spotted near Sooke two weeks after hunting in Alaska. 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! 11:23 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2019. A second theory is Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome, this affects the immune system and therefor the animal’s longevity. This grey/white orca T46B1B, nicknamed Tl’uk, was identified by Alaska Sea Adventures off Cape Bendel, Frederick Sound, August 7 th, 2020. A white killer whale called Tl’uk was spotted off the coast of Alaska earlier this month, dazzling thousands online in an amazing video. 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. (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! 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. Translated, his name comes from the Coast Salish word for ‘moon’ and it’s easy to see why he was given it! Yes! “It’s a coast Salish word, I believe means bright moon, appropriately,” Garrett said. © 2020 Cable News Network. “It’s a coast Salish word, I believe means bright moon, appropriately,” Garrett said. He said the white whale, known as Tl’uk, is a juvenile whale born in 2018. A RARE white killer whale spotted off the coast of Alaska is thought to be one of only five in the world. A rare, white orca named Tl’uk has been seen for the first time in Alaska waters. SpringTide I – Fishing & Private Charters. October 15, 2019 03:37 PM Advertisement. 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. Tl’uk, whose name means “moon” in Coastal Salish, is already something of a local celebrity in north coastal Washington. not very catchy I know hence the nick name Tl’uk. He and his pod swim anywhere between eastern Alaska and northern California, said Towers. He was later spotted in 2015- a positive sign that grey orca can live for a substantial amount of time! Author of the article: If an account exists, we've sent an email with a link to reset your password. 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. Killer whales are considered endangered, according to the rest of his family declined, National Oceanic and Atmospheric.! In Alaska waters fellow orcas and stood out immediately from the Canadian Bigg ’ killer! 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