A rare pink bottlenose dolphin has been drawing throngs of people to Lake Calcasieu , an inland saltwater estuary in Louisiana. The stunning mammal, believed to be the only one of its kind in the world, was spotted a few weeks ago, by charter boat captain, Eric Rue.
The dolphin, which looks as though it has been freshly painted, is the same color throughout its body and has reddish-eyes. Scientists believe that the dolphin suffers from albinism, a genetic condition caused by lack of the pigmentation melanin, which is responsible for the skin color of all living creatures. Due to its lighter color, the dolphin tends to avoid the bright sun, by staying underwater as much as possible.
However, other than that, the mammal appears perfectly healthy and is often seen frolicking around with the rest of his family, who have made the Calcasieu Ship Channel, their home.
Even Scientists who have followed marine mammals all their lives, have never seen a dolphin like this before, and are cautioning people not to get too close and endanger it in any way.
The closest relative to this pink dolphin, is the Amazon River dolphin or Boto, a fresh-water dolphin, found in the Amazon in South America. Botos, which are dark gray when young, change color as they grow, first to a shocking pink and then to almost white, by the time they reach full maturity.
Sources: telegraph.co.uk, wikipedia.org,