Updating a previous post for Throw-Back Thursday. Two years ago, we posted about “Pinky,” a pink dolphin that was seen swimming in the Calcasieu River in Louisianna. Pinky is believed to be an albino and was first sighted in the area in 2007. We are pleased to have learned that Pinky appears to be doing well, having made a recent appearance again in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. A second pink dolphin was also reported but not photographed.
While Pinky appears to be a rare albino bottle nose dolphin, there are naturally pink fresh water dolphins in the Amazon River. Locally known as botos, the dolphins are typically gray when young and grow more pink with age. The pinkest are often mature male dolphins. No one knows why the dolphins are pink although there is speculation that it helps the dolphins to blend in with the red river mud bottom.
Albinism is relatively rare among whales and dolphin, but Pinky is by no means the first. Migaloo, an albino humpback whale, has migrated off Australia’s Queensland’s coast since at least 1991 and developed quite a fan club. There are also reports of a second albino humpback, nicknamed Son of Migaloo. Migaloo was seen off Australia’s Gold Coast just last month. Migaloo means “white fellow” in an aboriginal language.
Thanks to Irwin Bryan for contributing to this post.