Rare pink bottlenose dolphin called 'Pinky' spotted again in Louisiana and could be pregnant

Captain Erik Rue first discovered Pinky in 2007, but says the dolphin is back and has been mating

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Sunday 13 September 2015 14:12
Comments
Pinky, the rare pink bottlenose dolphin, spotted in Louisiana
Pinky, the rare pink bottlenose dolphin, spotted in Louisiana

A rare pink bottlenose dolphin affectionately known as ‘Pinky’ has been spotted in Louisiana, and her fans think she could be pregnant.

Captain Erik Rue, who runs a chartered boat service on the Calcasieu River, first discovered Pinky in 2007. The dolphin is believed to be female, and Captain Rue told local news station WGNO ABC that when he first spotted Pinky she was a baby swimming around with her mother.

Pinky has now returned eight years later swimming either alone or with a pod of other dolphins.

“We still see her swimming almost every day in the summertime. We’ve seen her a lot in the last few weeks. She looks so happy and healthy,” Captain Rue told the TV station.

The captain said he has seen Pinky mating this summer and is keen to know that if she were to become pregnant, whether her calf would be pink or not.

The reason the dolphin is pink has not been formally explained, though Captain Rue does not think the mammal is an albino, believing Pinky would appear more white if that were the case.

But Greg Barsh, a scientist specialising in colour variation genetics at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Albama, told the National Geographic magazine that Pinky is most likely an albino dolphin.

If Pinky is an albino and is also pregnant, it is unlikely her calf would also be albino and appear pink, however. National Geographic reports that both Pinky and her mating partner would need to both carry the mutated gene that causes albinism, after which there would only be a 50 per cent chance of giving birth to an albino calf.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in