Vancouver Island's rare white orca named Tl'uk is thriving

B.C.'s white orca is thriving

British Columbia's rare white orca is thriving according to scientists.

Tl'uk is B.C.'s white orca lives near Vancouver Island and it isn't hard to miss, according to CTV News Vancouver Island.

"Chances are good you'll see it," says Fisheries and Oceans Canada researcher Jared Towers. "But remember that whales need their space."

The orca is known as T046B1B to scientists but also goes by Tl'uk which comes from the Indigenous Coast Salish language, translating to 'Moon.'

The almost two-year-old orca was first spotted off Vancouver Island and has since made appearances in videos and photos.

Federal scientists confirm he is thriving by gaining weight and  hunting with his family.

“Yes, the whale is doing very well,” said Towers, who spotted Tl’uk last week near Alert Bay.

“It's seen very often around Vancouver Island and I expect it will continue to be seen as its family has a long sightings history around here.”

Researchers remind people to enjoy the sight of Tl'uk at a great distance. New regulations ensure vessels must stay at least 400 metres from killer whales.

Tl'uk is part of the Bigg's killer whale family which are known as transient orcas. These whales are thriving with large families and new births.

Bigg's killer whales can been seen off eastern and western Vancouver Island and have even been spotted in Alaska.

-With files from CTV News Vancouver Island 

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