Monday, March 09, 2009
Pink Dolphin in Louisiana
The Telegraph (UK) reported Thursday on the new tourist attraction in Louisiana.
The world's only pink Bottlenose dolphin which was discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA, has become such an attraction that conservationists have warned tourists to leave it alone.
Charter boat captain Erik Rue, 42, photographed the animal, which is actually an albino, when he began studying it after the mammal first surfaced in Lake Calcasieu, an inland saltwater estuary, north of the Gulf of Mexico in southwestern USA.
Capt Rue originally saw the dolphin, which also has reddish eyes, swimming with a pod of four other dolphins, with one appearing to be its mother which never left its side.
He said: "I just happened to see a little pod of dolphins, and I noticed one that was a little lighter.
"It was absolutely stunningly pink.
"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."
Regina Asmutis-Silvia, senior biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: "I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career.
"Albinism is a genetic trait and it unclear as to the type of albinism this animal inherited."
I had no idea there were multiple types of albinism. When I was about 10, some family friends had a little girl who was albino, and she was adorable with her prescription sunglasses she had to wear all the time. That was well before Edgar Winter became famous, and while his coloring was the same as hers, he was not adorable.
The San Diego Zoo has an albino python that's been in the Reptile House in a big corner enclosure for years. It's not pink, but white with yellow markings.
Wikipedia has an article on albinism that explains the different types, but it's so technical that (keep in mind I love learning about the human body) my eyes glazed over. Read it right before nap time.