Russian scientists have released footage showing a rare white orca that is part of a small pod known to inhabit waters near the Commander Islands east of the Kamchatka Peninsula (see video).
The orca, named "Iceberg for its towering white fin," is believed to be the only pure white adult male orca to have been documented. It was spotted and photographed twice in 2010 but scientists with the Far East Russia Orca Project did not release footage until this week.
"There has been at least one other 'white' bull that I've heard of in the Aleutians but it was fairly mottled, yellowish, and it was before our time," said Erich Hoyt, co-director of FEROP and a research fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
Hoyt said one of the goals of a photo-identification research mission next month is to re-locate Iceberg and other members of his pod.
The scientist said that he knows of only a handful of white orcas to have been documented globally, "with Iceberg being the only male and the whitest."