Albinism in Popular Culture - Notable Albino Animals

Notable Albino Animals

An albino humpback whale called Migaloo (Australian Aboriginal for "White Lad") travels the east coast of Australia, and has become famous in the local media. Bristol Zoo was the home to a very rare albino African penguin named Snowdrop, who was hatched at the zoo in October 2002 and died in August 2004. For many years, a unique albino gorilla named Floquet de Neu in Catalan and Copito de Nieve in Spanish (both meaning "Snowflake"), was the most famous resident of the Parc Zoològic de Barcelona. In 2009 a pink albino bottlenose dolphin, nicknamed Pinky, was sighted several times in an inland lake in the United States, and footage of it has become popular on Internet video sites. There is also an albino crocodile in Jungle Island theme park in Miami, Fl.

Perhaps the most significant albino animal in history was Mocha Dick, a sperm whale of the early 19th century that lived mostly near the island of Mocha, off Chile's southern Pacific coast, several decades before Herman Melville fictionalized him in the 1851 novel Moby-Dick. The real whale was renowned for being docile until attacked whereupon he became ferocious and capable of disabling smaller vessels. This made him widely feared among whaler crews, though also a target for adventurous captains, who engaged him in possibly as many as hundred or more sea battles before he was eventually killed.

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