It’s not every day you see a pink dolphin, let alone a pink dolphin with her pink baby calf!
Affectionally known as Pinky, the rare mammal became popular 12 years ago when she was originally spotted alongside her gray-colored mother.
Until recently, Pinky was a solo act but now she has a pink calf to show off to the world.
The pink duo were seen by Captain Erik Rue in the Calcaisey River in Louisiana when they were swimming in front of a large boat in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
Experts explain that Pinky is a River Dolphin and her uniquely beautiful coloring comes from a rare genetic mutation.
Sadly, river dolphin populations are in decline and they are listed as an “endangered to vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is estimated that there are tens of thousands remaining.
Since the baby is pink, just like its mother, it gives researchers hope that the genetic mutation will continue to be passed on, helping to repopulate this majestic and rare species.
Some experts believe that Pinky is albino, while others have a different opinion on her unique coloring, saying that it’s simply related to genetics. Without genetic testing, there’s no way of knowing for sure.
Video footage of the dolphins swimming together was uploaded and shared by Thomas Adams.
Not all pink dolphins have such strong coloring – many are only partially pink, with pink bellies or backs.
According to Captain Rue, Pinky the dolphin is completely pink from its tail to the tip of its nose. She has red eyes and smooth, shiny skin.
“I feel very fortunate to have seen this incredible mammal and lucky to be able to work and live in the area where such a fantastic creature frequents,” said Captain Rue.
Rue doesn’t think Pinky is adversely affected by sunlight, but she does remain below the water more often than other similar sea mammals.
“Surprisingly, it does not appear to be drastically affected by the environment or sunlight as might be expected considering its condition, although it tends to remain below the surface a little more than the others in the pod,” Rue told The Sun.
Pinky is a true beauty to see and brings a lot of joy to both locals and tourists who come to the area.
“Our guests are always thrilled at the opportunity to spot such a unique mammal and we look forward to it being around for some time to come,” Rue added.
Bridget Boudreaux was lucky enough to spot Pinky playing with her calf a little while ago. The two were jumping and swimming around. She enjoyed the experience so much that she asked the captain to stop the boat so she could get a better view.
“It was amazing to see. I was astonished,” Boudreaux shared in an interview with KATC.
“My reaction, well I was in awe about it. It first came up straight out the water and I was like, ‘Whoa! That was a pink dolphin! Stop the boat!!”
Pinky was originally spotted 12 years ago alongside her gray-colored mother.
River dolphins reside in freshwater or brackish water and tend to be smaller than other dolphins since they have evolved to thrive in warm, shallow waters with strong river currents.
The South Asian river dolphin tends to be around 5 feet long, while the larger Amazon river dolphin is closer to 8 feet long and weighs around 220 pounds.
Interestingly, they have extremely sensitive hearing and do not rely much on their vision because they tend to live in such murky waters.
Calves are born in the spring and summer and females take over full responsibility when it comes to raising them.
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