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WATCH: Rare Pink Dolphin Caught On Camera.

A woman taking a boat cruise in Louisiana got a much better view than she expected when she spotted two pink dolphins swimming in the water.

(http://www.khou.com/news/local/animals/pink-dolphin-spotted-in-la-ship-channel/462608607) KHOU reported that Bridget Boudreaux was in the Calcasieu Ship Channel, near Hackberry, over the weekend when she took video of one of the creatures jumping out of the water.

"I about fell out the boat," Boudreaux told KHOU. "I was like wow that's not a regular dolphin, that's a pink dolphin."

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A bunch of dolphins were playing together, but she only managed to capture one of the pink ones on film.

"We watched them play around for awhile and then they went to the ship to play in front of it," Boudreaux said, according to (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Rare-Pink-Dolphin-Spotted-Louisiana-439231703.html) NBC . "And I told my husband to keep up with the ship so I can get a better video."

It's not a trick - pink-colored dolphins do exist. The (http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/protected_resources/outreach_and_education/documents/albino_dolphin_factsheet.pdf) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains that some dolphin species, as well as whales and porpoises, have displayed albinism and can produce offspring that are white instead of colored. Bottlenose dolphins are among the species that can exhibit albinism and those are found in the southeastern United States.

Albinism is most well-known for how it affects humans: The genetic defect prevents skin from producing any pigment. Albino people will have very light skin and hair, as well as reddish eye colors.

Albino dolphins are, however, an "extreme rarity," NOAA says in its 2016 report. Although there may be many sightings in the Gulf of Mexico of these pigment-less dolphins, which may appear white or pink, "it is believed these sightings are of the same three individuals."

"An albino dolphin calf was first photographed in June 2007 at Calcasieu Lake, an estuary in southwestern Louisiana, and has been reportedly seen many times since," the report says, mostly while it was swimming with a group of other dolphins. "Although the dolphin is often referred to as a 'pink' dolphin because of its pink coloration, it is considered an albino. The dolphin's mother is not albino and has the gray coloring typical of coastal bottlenose dolphins."

During the sightings of this pink dolphin, people in Louisiana have referred to the animal as "Pinky." A (http://www.sciencealert.com/louisiana-s-rare-pink-dolphin-appears-almost-unique-amongst-the-species) report in late 2015 mentions a sighting in the same area where Boudreaux took her video and suggested the bottlenose dolphin looked pregnant.

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It is unclear, however, if there is any connection between that sighting and Boudreaux's sighting this year of two pink dolphins.

There is another species of dolphin that is commonly known as a pink dolphin or a pink river dolphin: the (https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/amazon-river-dolphin) Amazon river dolphin . These are found in freshwater in South America, along the Amazon and Orinoco rivers. The (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/about/river_dolphins/pink_river_dolphin/) World Wildlife Fund says this dolphin is a pale pink color, although the exact color varies, with some of the dolphins having more gray and others more white.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:Aug 8, 2017
Words:569
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