The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is the most frequently seen marine mammal in the Gulf of Mexico.
Seeing a pink one however is extremely rare.
That is why we were excited to see this clip provided by Matt Metzler. It shows a pink albino dolphin jumping in front of a boat off the Louisiana coastline. The action begins at about the 17-second mark.
In 2013 we captured footage of a pink albino dolphin in the ship channel near Cameron, La. This particular dolphin with the obvious nickname “Pinky” has been thrilling fishermen who encounter it for at least a decade after Capt. Erik Rue began photographing the creature on his charter trips.
Here’s the clip we captured that day while out with our friend Scott Bandy in his bay boat.
An article in The Guardian back in 2009 reveals some interesting things scientists have observed about this creature.
Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a senior biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: “I have never seen a dolphin coloured in this way in all my career.”
“While this animal looks pink, it is an albino which you can notice in the pink eyes. Albinism is a genetic trait and it unclear as to the type of albinism this animal inherited.”
Some believe there are several “Pinkies” in the vicinity but little research has been done on the subject.
I have interviewed two people who claim to have seen pink dolphins from the ferry in Galveston, TX a three hour boat ride (in calm waters) from Cameron, La. The animal could certainly make that trek but there also could be more of them out there.
We will investigate more and let these video clips serve as a reminder of the beauty and mystery contained in the Gulf of Mexico. If you see such a creature by all means shoot photos and video but don’t chase or harass the animal.
This summer The Wildlife Journalist (R) is partnering with our Kingdom Zoo children’s ministry to raise awareness to the wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico. We are calling the program “Wild Gulf”.
We’ll be making treks from the Florida Panhandle to Port Isabel to document by photo and video the unique species that inhabit Gulf waters.
“The Gulf of Mexico and its species do not get enough attention in the national and world spotlight,” said Kingdom Zoo’s Lauren Williams, an eighth grade wildlife conservationist.
“We are going to do our best to change that and at the same time let kids in our ‘Wild Wishes’ program take part in these adventures.”
“Wild Wishes” grants exotic animal encounters for children who have a terminal illness or have lost a parent or sibling.
Be on the lookout for much more on from the “Wild Gulf” and for those mysterious pink dolphins along the coastline.
And if you happen to come across a stranded or sick marine mammal call 1-800-9-MAMMAL. The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network will give you instructions and if the situation is serious they will take action to help the animal.
Chester Moore, Jr.
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