It’s not every day that you get the chance to see a pink dolphin; they are incredibly rare with only 14 known to exist in the entire world. It was only this past week that a rare pink dolphin was spotted swimming along in the Louisiana River.
Captain Erik Rue first spotted this rare dolphin in 2007 and it goes by the name of “pinky” or “pinkie.” It is believed that the pink color comes from an albino gene sequence, although scientists aren’t exactly sure why the dolphin is actually pink.
"I was coming in from offshore and it was really flat calm. I saw a pod of dolphins and something looked different on one of them. I shut down and waited. When they came back up to the surface, one was pink! It was stunning," Rue told Newsweek in a personal interview.
The idea that the dolphin may be an albino comes from the fact that its eyes are reddish and blood vessels are easily seen through the skin, which lacks the proper amount of pigment, both of which are inline with symptoms of the disorder.
Although it’s a fine rare sight to see such an exotic animal, it’s not exactly good for the dolphin; being albino means that the skin of the dolphin is incredibly vulnerable to the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and albino animals are known to suffer from vision problems, which make them less efficient at hunting for food.
There is some speculation that this could be an Amazon River dolphin, which is naturally pink, although experts would disagree because of the appearance of the dolphin, which looks much like a regular dolphin, only with pink characteristics.
The pink dolphin was reportedly in the process of mating, which means that the rare animal could be pregnant. The likelihood of its offspring also being pink is very low due to the fact that being pink is a recessive gene, the likelihood would be increased if two pink dolphins had mated, as National Geographic notes.
You can see a video of the rare pink dolphin swimming around, as captured by Captain Erik Rue in 2011, below:
Source: National Geographic