A coastal town in Labrador is playing host to a rare white guest — and it's neither an iceberg nor a polar bear.

A beluga whale arrived in Rigolet over the weekend, and has been delighting residents, even allowing some to pet it.

Resident Melva Williams told CBC News the whale — some have dubbed it Bella the beluga — has been a joy to have around.

"It's a wonderful experience to see that little whale," she said, adding Bella has been "coming so close to the community and [is] so friendly as well."

Belugas, which are known to be very sociable, are also a cause of concern, as two of the seven populations in Canada are listed as endangered.

Williams said residents have enjoyed watching the beluga play in the harbour, sometimes with buoys.

"We're all down there on the little wharf and the whale will come over and bob there in the water while people pet it," she said.

"He's a very friendly little animal."