Jeffreys Bay
Rare white Southern Right Whale in JBay

A extremely rare white Southern Right Whale calf was spotted in Jeffreys Bay last week by local photographer Joey Nel.

Joey Nel captured this image of the white calf.

Joey Nel captured this image of the white calf.

The calf was frolicking next to its mom and seems in good health.

Only about 2 % of Southern Right Whales look white when they are born.

The white appearance of a baby Southern Right Whale is due to a lack of pigmentation in the skin. This lack of pigmentation allows the animal’s fat to be seen through the outer layer of skin.

They will change colour with age but never attain the same black skin as their peers.

The calf swimming with its mom. Photo: Joey Nel

The calf swimming with its mom. Photo: Joey Nel

“The first white calf I saw in Algoa Bay was off the Swartkops River in 2002 and another off Hougham Park in 2009,” said Lloyd Edwards from Raggy Charters.

Danie Steyn spotted a white calf in the ocean off Jeffreys Bay in 2012, which was subsequently also seen in Algoa Bay.

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