Video: Boaters Spot Pink Dolphin in Louisiana River With Her Pink Baby Calf

Video: Boaters Spot Pink Dolphin in Louisiana River With Her Pink Baby Calf
(Illustration - COULANGES/Shutterstock)
Michael Wing
From the archives: This story was last updated in May 2019.
If you spend enough time on the Calcasieu River near Lake Charles, Louisiana, chances are you’ll have spotted a rare specimen in the company of a pod of dolphins. “Pinky” the dolphin, as she’s called, is exactly like her name suggests: a bright-pink-colored member of the playful, intelligent aquatic mammal.

For years, the legendary pink dolphin has captivated visitors on the Calcasieu Ship Channel, just a few miles south of Lake Charles. Local charter boat captain Erik Rue claims to be the first to catch sight of Pinky in June 2007. The curious creature, he recounts, would swim as close as 10 feet from his boat at times. He even caught her photograph while she was swimming with her pod around Lake Charles.

(Illustration - DANIEL SORABJI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Illustration - DANIEL SORABJI/AFP via Getty Images)

Some people have just assumed Pinky was female because of her color—which is erroneous reasoning, obviously. However, Rue believes it is so, as he claims to have observed her during mating in 2015.

“I’ve taken a ton of pictures of her mating and it proved she’s a female,” Rue told ABC News. “I believe I’m the first one who saw her and I know I’m the first one to take pictures of her.”

(Illustration - pruit phatsrivong/Shutterstock)
(Illustration - pruit phatsrivong/Shutterstock)

The natural consequences of that has led some to wonder whether Pinky might become pregnant and even give birth to more pink dolphins. That seems to be the case. A woman named Bridget Boudreaux and her husband claim to have spotted no less than two pink dolphins on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in 2017.

“It was amazing to see,” she said. “Like I said we saw two but I couldn’t get both on video at the time. I was astonished.” She shared her video with local TV station KATC.

“When we saw the first one, we stopped to watch them all play,” Boudreaux added. “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.”

Then in 2018, another video surfaced from Thomas Adams on Facebook delivering the pink duo for the world to see. It appears to be the mother dolphin swimming with her calf in the wake of a massive ship. Quite the sight to see, indeed!

The truth about Pinky’s pigmentation has a perfectly scientific explanation. Dolphins’ bellies are, in fact, pink tinged, while their bodies are usually gray. Scientists believe that pink dolphins might be albinos. That means that the cells in their bodies do not produce pigment, melanin, that gives normal dolphins their gray color. In a sense, pink dolphins get their coral coloration because their cells have no color.