We've all seen Migaloo and the growing cohort of colourless whales that cruise the waters off Australia, but locals in Mexico have a celebrity pale whale of their own – and she's known as "Gallon of Milk" (extra points for the awesome name).  

Officials from the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) encountered GoM during a recent aerial survey, a welcome sight as this large gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) had not been seen in the area since 2009. More exciting still was the whale's precious cargo: a small calf.

Over 2,000 gray whales were counted this year in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, a stopover for the large whales that scientists have been monitoring for decades. Mexico's warm-water lagoons serve as breeding, birthing and nursing grounds – the final layover on one of nature's longest migrations, which begins in Alaska’s Bering Sea, nearly 6,000 miles north.

That calf won't stay small for long: gray whale calves consume some 50 gallons of high-fat milk per day! According to CONANP, nearly half the whales seen this year were born in Mexico, and they hope to see GoM and her little one return. 


Top header image: Robert Nunn/Flickr