Rare pink dolphin spotted mating near Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES – A charter boat captain says a rare pink dolphin has been spotted mating in a lake near Lake Charles.
"I've taken a ton of pictures of her mating and it proved she's a female," Capt. Erik Rue told ABC News. "I believe I'm first one who saw her and I know I'm the first one to take pictures of her."
Rue, a charter boat captain at Calcasieu Charter Service in Lake Charles, said the rare mammal, nicknamed "Pinkie", is a curious dolphin that occasionally swims within 5-10 feet of his boat.
Rue said that he first spotted Pinkie in 2007 and since then the rare pink dolphin has become a local celebrity.
"I think many are a bit surprised when they actually see it and it's actually bright pink like we've told them," Rue said. "They say 'Oh my gosh it's really pink.' They are surprised that it's just the way we described it to them.”
Rue said he does not know why Pinkie is such a unique color.
"Dolphins have pink bellies, so I just kind of started of thinking that this is a genetic glitch," he said. "If it was albino I believe it would be white. I've changed what I thought over time, as I analyzed the pictures I have. Other than it being pink and her eyes not opening all the way, it's a perfectly normal dolphin and does all the things the rest of them do.
"It's interesting to know things like that exist in the world, and it's really beautiful to see that."
The World Wildlife Fund told ABC News that this particular species of freshwater dolphin is naturally pink in color, are classified as vulnerable, and are found throughout much of the Amazon.
Rue said he plans to compile photographs of Pinkie into a coffee table book.