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Louisiana fisherman spots rare pink dolphins in river

Louisiana fisherman spots rare pink dolphins in river
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jul 20, 2023

Buzz for the new “Barbie” movie, which debuts in theaters this Friday, has everyone seeing pink. But are members of the animal kingdom picking up on the trend, too?

While the answer is probably not, rare pink dolphins were recently spotted in Louisiana. Last week, Thurman Gustin — a fisherman who was angling along Old River Pass in Cameron Parish, Louisiana — captured a video of a rosy-hued dolphin popping out of the water.

Here is his footage:

“As we were going I noticed something just under the water that I knew wasn’t normal,” he told CBS News. “I [stopped] the boat and up popped this beautiful pink dolphin.”

Gustin said that the dolphin he captured on video wasn’t the only one he saw swimming in the river. The pink mammals could have been rare albino bottlenose dolphins, which have a genetic mutation that makes their skin appear pink and white. They are found in the Gulf of Mexico, which is near the river where Gustin was dropping a line.

In fact, a pink dolphin has been spotted in the area so often that residents named her “Pinky,” who even has a dedicated Facebook page. But it’s unclear whether the female dolphin is the one Gustin spotted.

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There is also a species of Amazon river dolphin that is pink — but they only swim in waters of Amazon River basins in countries such as Brazil, Columbia, Bolivia and Peru, according to the World Wildlife Fund. While the pink Amazon river dolphin is classified as a vulnerable species in certain areas, they are much more common than the albino dolphins of the Gulf of Mexico. Only about 20 sightings of the latter have been recorded since the mid-20th century, according to Blue World Institute.

Gustin, who has been fishing in the area for more than 20 years, said it was the first time he spotted a pink dolphin.

If you are lucky enough to spot one, be sure to follow responsible viewing guidelines, which includes staying at least 50 yards away and abstaining from feeding the wild creatures.

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.