ALL-white humpback Migaloo was sighted on his journey south at Byron Bay on Monday afternoon.
ALL-white humpback Migaloo was sighted on his journey south at Byron Bay on Monday afternoon. Tweed Daily News

Has Migaloo found a mate?

MIGALOO is feeling randy in the tropical paradise of Australian waters according to Southern Cross University (SCU) scientists.

While his spectacular white skin has humans amazed, it appears it has not given him too much of a leg-up in the whale dating world.

Peta Beeman, a researcher from SCU's Whale Research Centre, observed Migaloo near Byron Bay at Tyagarah on Monday and said he was involved in a bit of push-and-shove with other males, most probably over a female.

“Migaloo appeared with a group of whales who were pushing and jostling each other, which is competitive behaviour typically associated with humpback whale mating,” Ms Beeman said.

“It is possible a female was present within the group and he was competing with the other males for her attention.”

The behaviour could prove that whales are an accepting bunch, which accept and treat others equally, no matter their skin colour.

“Migaloo is clearly interested in mating, which suggests that although he has a different appearance, he seems to travel and behave in the same way as other adult humpback males would do.”

Ms Beeman is conducting a humpback whale identification research project, which aims to better understand humpback whale migration timing, travel speed and movement patterns.

In the meantime Professor Peter Harrison, director of the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre urged people to remember the special exclusion zone that is enforced to protect this unique white whale.

“At this time of year, humpback whales are heading south to the feeding grounds of Antarctica on a very limited energy budget, and any ongoing interference could have a serious impact on their ability to survive the long migration back.”



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