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Summary of the eRumor: A forwarded email with pictures of what the
message says is a rare pink dolphin.
The Truth: The pictures and the story are true. As
indicated in the eRumor, the original pictures were taken on June 17, 2007
by Captain Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service, a company that does
hunting and fishing charter trips in Louisiana.
The pictures were taken on Lake Calcesieu, an estuary north of
the Gulf of Mexico in Southwestern Louisiana.
There is a species of what is called "pink dolphin" that lives in South
America in the Amazon river. This sighting in Louisiana, however, is
considered rare because it appears to be a bottlenose dolphin but pink
ones are virtually never seen.
Marine Biologist Dagmar Ferti told ESPN that it was an albino calf and
that bottlenose calves don't have much blubber so the the blood
circulating under the skin is more visible, especially if the calf had
been working hard to swim. He said this sighting was
only the third that he knows of in the Gulf of Mexico. There have
been 13 total sightings dating back to 1962.
There is also a species of Humpback dolphin
called the Indo-Pacific Humpback dolphin found mostly in Southeast Asia.
Some of them have pink-colored skin because of blood vessels used for
keeping the body temperature cool during exertion. One of them
became a celebrity in Thailand and also a focus of controversy. The
dolphin got caught in fishing nets during the summer of 2007 and ended up
in a resort on the island of Samui in Southern Thailand. When
reports surfaced that the dolphin was being trained to entertain tourists
an outcry rose among animal rights activists. The government says
the dolphin is scheduled to be rehabilitated and released back into the
the gulf of Thailand by early 2008.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Extremely Rare And Beautiful Pink Dolphin Spotted
Picture provided by: by Capt. Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service
This extremely rare and beautiful "pink dolphin" was spotted and
photographed by Capt. Erik Rue of Calcasieu Charter Service on June 24th,
2007 during a charter fishing trip on Calcasieu Lake south of Lake
It appears to be an uncanny freak of nature, an albino
dolphin, with reddish eyes and glossy pink skin. It is small in comparison
to the others it is traveling with and appears to be a youngster traveling
with mama. After spotting the beautiful mammal cruising with a pod of four
other dolphins, Rue and his guests Randy and Peyton Smith and Greg and Sam
Elias of Monroe, LA idled nearby while watching and photographing the
unusual sight for more than an hour.
Our expectations are high that we will see this amazing
mammal again as it was in an area frequented by the gentle mammals and one
confirmed report has it being spotted at least a month earlier in a nearby
location. If it does turn up again, it will be a welcome surprise to our
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