updated 06/23/2014 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 06/23/2014 AT 10:50 AM ET
It’s like spotting the J.D. Salinger of the whale world.
Friday, whale-cruise operators near Australia’s Port Stephens were alerted to the fact that elusive albino humpback whale Migaloo was in the area, sending whale watchers on a merry chase as he joined other migrating humpbacks heading towards Queensland.
Migaloo is the only documented albino humpback whale in the world – he’s even afforded special legal protection because he’s so rare. Janene Rees from Moonshadow Cruises says Migaloo (whose name means “white fella”) tends to travel alone or with a select group – he’s been visiting area waters for a few decades.
Lisa Skelton of Imagine Cruises took the above picture of Migaloo mid-breach. Majestic, no?
Just don’t tell Australian photographer Ray Alley, who has been tracking Migaloo for 14 years in hopes of a rare photo op like this. Luckily, he caught the rare moment as well. Alley told the Daily Mail, “Mate, I can go to the grave happy now, this is the holy grail for me.”