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First-Ever White Orca Spotted

The first-ever all-white killer whale seen in the wild has been sighted by Russian scientists near the Commander Islands east of Kamchatka.

Scientists from universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg spotted the orca bull, probably an albino, when its 2-meter white dorsal fin appeared above the surface of the Bering Sea near the set of 17 islands, located about 175 kilometers off the coast of Kamchatka. The sighting was reported by the Far East Russia Orca Project, or FEROP, started in 1999 by three scientists to study the endangered animals off Russia's coast.

The white killer whale, whom scientists have called Iceberg due to his coloration, lives in a family with 12 relatives, according to a statement by FEROP.

The area around the Commander Islands is Russia's largest marine reserve and is inhabited by a number of whale, dolphin and porpoise species, the statement said. Orcas reside in seas all over the planet, but within Russian waters they have only been spotted in Kamchatka, according to information on FEROP's website.

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