This weekend saw the return of “Gallon of Milk,” the albino gray whale.
Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) spotted the all-white whale in the waters of Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, on the west coast of Mexico.
The female whale was first spotted in 2009, and hasn’t been seen for over five years.
CONANP were pleased to report that Gallon of Milk was also accompanied by a calf, which she is presumed to be the mother of.
Her survival has come as a surprise to the organization because sightings – and even more so, the survival – of albino marine mammals is extremely rare. The genetic condition leads to the absence or reduction of the pigment melanin. As such, animals have a white or pale skin tone, making their survival in the wild all the more difficult.
While seeing an albino whale is an extraordinarily rare experience, the species of gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) in general appears to be thriving in the area. They can be found throughout the northern Pacific Ocean, and CONANP said in a press release that 2,211 gray whales were counted in a recent survey of Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, including 1,004 calves.
— CONANP (@CONANP_mx) March 2, 2016