A pink dolphin known as “Pinky,” lives in the Calcasieu River ship channel area of Louisiana, and has become famous for its unique pink skin color. Recently, Pinky has created more local excitement by giving birth to a small calf that has a similar skin tone.
Captain Erik Rue was the first to spot her and he claims he’s seen her swimming with other dolphins and mating, describing her as being “very sexually active,” according to the Sun.
“The mammal is entirely pink from tip to tail and has reddish eyes. The skin appears smooth, glossy pink and without flaws. 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,” Rue says.
“I feel very fortunate to have seen this incredible mammal and lucky to be able to work and live in the area where such a fantastic creature frequents.Our guests are always thrilled at the opportunity to spot such a unique mammal and we look forward to it being around for some time to come,” he added.
Experts believe that Pinky is a Pink River Dolphin that has a unique genetic mutation that makes its skin look different.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the river dolphin is an endangered species, and its numbers have been steadily decreasing in recent years.
The Pink River dolphin is also known as the Amazon river dolphin, or the scientific terms of inia geoffrensis, boto, and bufeo.
While hunting is a major threat, pollution has been the biggest threat in recent decades. The animals are facing a loss of their habitat and regularly find themselves entangled in fishing lines.
According to Wikipedia:
The Amazon river dolphin is the largest river dolphin. Adult males reach a maximum length and weight of 2.55 metres (8.4 ft) (average 2.32 metres (7.6 ft)) and 185 kilograms (408 lb) (average 154 kilograms (340 lb)), while females reach a length and weight of 2.15 metres (7.1 ft) (mean 2 metres (6.6 ft)) and 150 kilograms (330 lb) (average 100 kilograms (220 lb)). It has very evident sexual dimorphism, with males measuring and weighing between 16% and 55% more than females, making it unique among cetaceans, where females are generally larger than males.
Breeding for these dolphins is seasonal, and births typically occur between May and June. The birth season coincides with the flood season. The full gestation process is estimated to be around eleven months and captive births often take up to 4 or 5 hours.
In September 2012, Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted a law to protect the dolphin and declared it a national treasure.
Last year, it was reported that Pinky was spotted swimming with another pink dolphin, but at the time it was not clear if the animals were mating. Now it seems that was likely the case.
A witness named Bridget Boudreaux said, “It was amazing to see. I was astonished. My reaction, well I was in awe about it. It first came up straight out the water and I was like, ‘Whoa! That was a pink dolphin! Stop the boat!!
“When we saw the first one, we stopped to watch them all play. There were regular dolphins and then two pink dolphins. They were either mating or eating. We watched them for a while until that ship came and they went towards it,” she added.
Conservationists have warned visitors not to seek these animals out and to stay away from them if they are seen in the wild. Since these animals are so rare, it would be a shame to see these creatures become a tourist attraction, because this would threaten their ability to live healthy lives. Luckily, people have been respectful to the animals and their habitat, but the outlook is not good for their species, since the ocean is getting increasingly dangerous.