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. (Facebook/Sooke Coastal Explorations)

Rare white orca spotted off Vancouver Island two weeks after hunting in Alaska

Tl’uk, whose Coast Salish name means Moon, is back in B.C. waters

A rare white transient orca was spotted off the coast of Vancouver Island by a local whale watching company while on a tour Tuesday.

Paul Pudwell, the owner of Sooke Whale Watching, snapped a few photos of the unusual sight in the Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sooke.

READ ALSO: Orca punting seal spotted by Greater Victoria whale watching company

Tl’uk, whose name means Moon in Indigenous Coast Salish, was first spotted by Pudwell back in November 2018. Researchers estimate that the whale is two years old.

Researchers have previously noted that the young whale isn’t albino because it would have completely white skin and no pigment in its eyes. Instead, it is most likely leucism, a condition where there is a partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.

Known to scientists as T46-B1B, Tl’uk has been spotted as far south as the Puget Sound and earlier in August, as far north as Alaska.

READ MORE: Rare white orca spotted hunting off shores of Alaska for first time


 

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aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

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Owner Paul Pudwell caught a sight of Tl’uk, the rare white killer whale off Sooke waters in the Juan de Fuca Strait on Tuesday, Aug. 26. (Facebook/Sooke Coastal Explorations)

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