'Wally' the whale was viral video star before washing up on Dockweiler

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Saturday, July 2, 2016
'Wally' the whale was viral video star before washing up on Dockweiler
Wally the humpback whale, towed out to sea Friday night, starred in a 2015 viral video.

DOCKWEILER STATE BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The whale that washed up on Dockweiler State Beach has been identified as "Wally," a humpback that was featured in viral videos that have been viewed more than 1 million times.

In one video, Wally is seen appearing to breathe out a rainbow from the blowhole. As the whale surfaces and exhales, the sunlight catches the mist so it looks like Wally is breathing out a flowing rainbow.

Wally was first spotted in Southern California in June 2015, according to happywhale.com, a website that tracks whale sightings in the region.

The site said that while Wally was first believed to be male, it now appears Wally was female.

At the time of that first sighting, she had an infestation of red whale lice. She had also been seen with a female whale named Wilma who had been sighted in the Southern California area since 2006. Wally was about 45 feet long.

Los Angeles County lifeguards also identified the Dockweiler whale as Wally.

Royce Hutain, the captain who piloted the boat used in the video, said that closeups of the whale's fluke and dorsal fin confirm the whale in the videos was the same one that washed up on the beach.

In another video, a little girl on a tour boat off Newport Beach waves her hand and Wally appears to magically surface and spout on her command.

She was believed to be between 10 and 20 years old, lifeguards said.

Her body washed ashore at Dockweiler Thursday night and by Friday night lifeguards were towing the carcass out to sea.