Pinky, an extremely rare pink bottlenose dolphin, was seen swimming in Lake Calcasieu in south west Louisiana and north of the Gulf of Mexico. So far, only three pink dolphins were spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, and 11 more worldwide.
Since it was born, Pinky has become a local attraction for tourists. Capt. Erik Rue of the local charter service who has been studying the dolphin for more than eight years said that the animal made several appearances in the lake this summer.
Rue, 48, recalls that he first saw the beautiful animal eight years ago. He was surprised by the sudden pink appearance and he can say it was love at first sight. He said that on the day he first met Pinky the lake was unusually calm.
He saw from his boat a pod of dolphins but something caught his attention. He quickly shut the boat engines down and waited. When the pod came nearer he noticed a little pink dolphin swimming close to its mother. He said that the rare appearance was “stunning.”
From that day, tourists and locals ask Capt. Rue to take them to the pink dolphin. When people see Pinky for the first time they have the same reaction. They cannot believe their eyes and that the captain didn’t exaggerate his story about the legendary pink dolphin.
Biologists explained that Pinky is an albino dolphin. Albino animals usually have no skin pigment and they are completely white. But pinky is even rarer than his white-albino cousins. You can see that the dolphin is affected by albinism from its pink eyes.
Nevertheless, Pinky’s parents were both regular gray bottlenose dolphins. Biologists explain that one of the parents carried the “pink” gene and passed it to Pinky. Yet, Pinky may not have all pink babies unless she finds a mate that is also an albino. If she mates with a grey dolphin there are 50-50 chances to bear a pink dolphin.
NOAA reported that there are only two other pink dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. One was seen 25 years ago near Orleans, while the other one was spotted 12 years ago in Texas. In the world, there are only 14 pink dolphins reported so far, so Capt. Rue beat all odds when he met Pinky.
The man said he has hundreds of photos of Pinky which he plans to gather into a coffee table album. But last year he saw the pink dolphin mating. His pictures helped biologists learn that Pinky is a female dolphin. Biologists denied that Pinky may be pregnant despite what news outlets say.
Yet, there are other natural pink dolphins in the world but not as spectacular as Pinky is. For instance, the dolphins in the Amazon River are also partially pink but they are “kinda ugly and splotchy,” as Capt. Rue put it.
Image Source: Amazon King Lodge