A somewhat elusive pink dolphin known as “Pinky” was recently spotted in Louisiana.
Houston-based TV station KHOU reports that the dolphin was seen playing in a Louisiana ship channel.
One woman, Bridget Boudreaux, was lucky enough to spot Pinky (and catch the dolphin on video) while she and her husband were on a cruise in the Calcasieu Ship Channel on Aug. 5.
‘I About Fell Out The Boat’
“I about fell out the boat,” Boudreaux told KHOU. “I was like wow that’s not a regular dolphin, that’s a pink dolphin.”
The Calcasieu Ship Channel is a manmade waterway made from natural lakes and streams that connects Port of Lake Charles, the U.S.’s 11th largest seaport located in southwestern Lousisiana, with the Gulf of Mexico.
Take a look at the video below for more information on this unusual dolphin sighting.
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVU6u75Peag” /]
So Pink Dolphins Actually Exist?!
This isn’t the first time this pink dolphin has been spotted in the area, either.
Pinky sightings made headlines back in 2015. But according to National Geographic, charter boat captain Erik Rue has been seeing the animal in the waterways since about 2007.
Here it is captured on video back in 2011:
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPyAcoz6V-A” /]
While spotting a pink dolphin seems about as rare as finding a unicorn, dolphins with pink coloring do exist.
Amazon river dolphins, also known as pink dolphins or botos, live in the rivers throughout much of South America.
Their pink coloring is actually the result of repeated skin abrasions. Because male river dolphins are more likely to get into altercations, they are also more likely to be pink.
While pink dolphins do exist, that doesn’t necessarily explain how one was spotted in Louisiana.
A Different Theory
Scientists think Pinky could actually be albino, which may explain the light pink coloring.
Greg Barsh, a scientist who studies the genetics of color variation at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Alabama, told National Geographic that Pinky’s reddish eyes and blood vessels could be a sign of albinism, which is when the cells that make melanin fail to produce normal amounts.
Albinism in dolphins is quite rare, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists with NOAA estimate that only 1 in 10,000 mammals have albinism. (By comparison, the likelihood of albinism in humans is about 1 in 17,000.)
Along with Pinky in Louisiana, there’s also been a recent albino dolphin sighting in California. You can see it in the video below.
[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfkGwMXtCj8″ /]
So, it’s not as rare as finding a unicorn, but laying eyes on a pink dolphin is still pretty darn unusual!
The Louisiana dolphin was once thought to be pregnant, so will there be more pink dolphins in the area in the future? Are they already out there but just staying hidden from humans? Only time will tell.
We’ll just be here—waiting for the next pink dolphin sighting.