What’s pink and swims in the lake? No, really, it’s Pinkie, a rare pink bottlenose dolphin spotted in Louisiana’s Lake Calcasieu. Bottlenose dolphins are usually gray, but Pinkie is thought to be an albino with an unusual pink tint.
Dolphins are sea creatures, but the waters of Lake Calcasieu are brackish, and Pinkie appears comfortable in them. Other dolphins have been spotted there, too. In fact, Pinkie was seen with a male, and it’s suspected she may be expecting a little Pinkie soon.
In any case, she’s been a favorite of lake visitors since 2007. Erik Rue is a charter boat captain who takes people out on the waters to see her. His passengers take photos and are fascinated with her bright pink color. Like all dolphins, Pinkie is intelligent and curious and comes to check out the people as well. Rue says she sometimes swims within 5 feet of the boat.
It’s been a concern that Pinkie might not thrive, because albinos may be easy to prey on and have trouble hunting with their very visible color. In addition, they sometimes have health problems. But Pinkie seems to be doing fine. Erik Rue says, “She’s a perfectly normal dolphin and does all the things the rest of them do.”
So, what goes out on a boat and smiles? All the people who see Pinkie!