Since 1991, Migaloo a humpback whale has been a constant visitor along Australia's east coast delighting locals and tourists alike. However, he had disappeared for the last four years, either taking a different migration route to and from the Antarctica or sneaking by at night.

It was therefore a cause of great celebration when the mammal was spotted once again off the Tweed coast, heading toward Queensland, Australia. Why all the hullaballoo over a humpback whale?

That's because Migaloo, which means 'White Fella', is no ordinary humpback, but the world's only documented white whale. In fact, he is so revered that the Australian government has given him the status of 'special interest whale' - which means boats and jet-skis have to keep a distance of at least 500 meters, while airplanes have to be at least 2,000 meters away from the mammal. Anybody caught violating this rule is subject to a fine exceeding $12,500 AUD.

And his fan following does not end in Australia. There are several websites dedicated to him, and he was the inspiration for last year's anti-whale hunt campaign, dubbed 'Operation Migaloo'.

While Migaloo did not provide for very many good photo opportunities this year, he was seen cruising along with two other 'normal' humpbacks, probably discussing the state of the waters. The big question in the minds of Australians now is, 'When will we see him again'?

sources: BBC.CO.UK,