An extremely rare pink dolphin has given birth to a pink calf.
The animal, known locally as Pinky, has been spotted in the Calcasieu river in Louisana swimming with her pink baby.
The unusually-coloured mammal first came to fame around 12 years ago, when she was noticed by captain Erik Rue, who saw her regularly swimming in the area and mating with dolphins – the captain even described her as ‘very sexually active’.
Her actions have obviously had the desired results though, as it seems Pinky the pink dolphin is now mother to pink dolphin baby.
A clip was shared to Pinky’s Facebook page, showing the two pink dolphins swimming in front of a massive boat in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
Pinky is believed to be a Pink River Dolphin, whose distinct colouring comes from a rare genetic mutation.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), list the river dolphin as endangered, with the population of the animal decreasing.
The birth of Pinky’s calf, however, has given conservationists hope that calves share their mother’s genetic mutation, which would make a huge difference in efforts to increase the population of the rare species.
Captain Rue said, via 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.
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.
Bridget Boudreaux was lucky enough to spot Pinky and her calf in the river a little while ago, seeing the pair swim and jump in the river.
Bridget told KATC:
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!!’
Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of Pinky, her calf and others in the near future.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.