Australians are just crazy for their whales, aren't they? I saw multiple stories today about the probable low sperm count of the popular albino humpback Migaloo. How do you determine the sperm count of a whale, you may ask? Well, you don't, really. You just have a scientist guess based on the fact that Migaloo's probably a true albino, and albinos in other species often are infertile. The coverage of this story reminds me of celebrity journalism. Celebrity gossip rags often call in experts, most of whom "have not treated [Celebrities X and Y]," to diagnose plastic surgery, body language or whatever problem the celebrities are suspected of concealing from the public. How refreshing for this kind of idle speculation and media focus to be concentrated on a whale instead of a random actor! If only people all over the world were as interested in the the well-being of the animal species around them.
Interestingly, the article also notes that Japan has pledged not to hunt Australian humpback whales. Good news for Migaloo and other Australian humpback whales, but what about other Southern Ocean whales? Too bad they can't get themselves a celebrity member. Perhaps Sea Shepherd should work on developing ways to convincingly make normal whales appear to be albinos.