CAMERON PARISH, LA (WFLA) — A rare dolphin named “Pinky” was spotted this weekend in a Louisiana shipping channel.
Pinky was reportedly first seen in 2007 as a pink dolphin calf, who onlookers noticed was swimming with its normal-colored mother in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. That waterway in Louisiana connects Lake Charles to the Gulf of Mexico.
Over the weekend, Pinky was spotted again by multiple people in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. What’s more, those on the boats claim they saw not one, but two pink dolphins.
Two years ago, reports surfaced about Pinky possibly matting in the channel. Now people believe the second pink dolphin may actually be Pinky’s baby.
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Bridget Boudreaux told WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross she saw the two pink dolphins from her pontoon boat. She said, at first ,the dolphins were playing along the banks, and then the pair went to play in front of a large cargo ship.
“My husband was driving the boat and one jumped 20 feet from our boat,” Boudreaux said. “We were just astonished. I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough.”
Some experts said the dolphin may be albino, but others have a different idea.
Senior Rescue Biologist Kerry Sánchez from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium said it may have to do with genetic variation.
“So what they get from mom and what they get from dad means they can look a little bit different than that perfect image we expect,” Sánchez said.
However, even with genetic variation, Sánchez said, these pink dolphins are very rare.
“Seeing an animal that is extremely light in color is not something we would normally expect to see. And in my full time here, we’ve never seen an animal that looks like that,” Sánchez said.
Without genetic testing, experts can’t officially say it’s albino though just because it’s pink.
Albinism is reportedly extremely rare in dolphins. There have only been 14 recorded sightings of albino bottle-nose dolphins since 1962.
Boudreaux said she believes her picture of the pink dolphin received so much attention because it’s the first one with it completely out of the water.