An albino bottlenose dolphin sighting is extremely rare! It’s so rare that only 15 documented sightings have been recorded since the 1960’s. That’s about one sighting every three plus years. The latest sighting was spotted right here in Brevard County’s own Indian River Lagoon.
A volunteer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission not only saw the dolphin, but was able to capture some video of it. Not only have portions of the video been released, but several still shots showing this rare and beautiful creature are also available. During the approximate two minutes of the video, not only can you see the white dolphin rising above the surface several times, but you can also hear the volunteer, Danielle Carter, gasp once or twice. Although there is no explanation, one can only assume Ms. Carter is simply appreciating the rarity and beauty of what she is seeing.
Very little is known about albino dolphins simply because they are so rare. It’s assumed that albinism is a recessive trait due to the rarity of the numbers; however not much else is known. It is thought that the skin coloring makes the albinos more likely to become prey. Yet, some important things such as average lifespan or additional health conditions are not known.
Because it is important to keep these rare animals safe, the exact location of the video shoot is being kept confidential. It would be harmful to the dolphins to have curious onlookers seeking it out or trying to engage the animal.
Although the dolphin in the video appears snow-white, most albino dolphins are more of a pinkish color. The most recent other sighting occurred when Japanese fisherman went on a traditional dolphin-killing hunt. These fishermen killed other dolphins in the cove, but were able to capture the young albino mammal alive. Many conservation groups decry the hunt and the capture, yet efforts to find out what will happen with the captured mammal have been unsuccessful.
Dolphins do tend to attract attention, but when it comes to albino dolphins, the attention can be damaging. If you are out in the area and see the dolphin, there’s no problem trying to get pictures or video. However, it’s important to remember to stay as far away as possible so as not to disturb these beautiful creatures. Do not attempt to follow, herd or corral the animals in order to get a better shot. It’s also recommend that you do not pet the dolphins, feed them or try to swim with them. Simply stay calm and slowly move away to give them plenty of room.
If you do get a picture or video, contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and let them know your location.