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Brownies support whales and dolphins

21 June 2017

Rare White Dolphin Returns To California

A rare white Risso's dolphin has been sighted in Monterey Bay in California, nearly two years after the dolphin was first seen as a calf.

It is unclear whether the dolphin is a true albino or leucistic, a condition in which there is only partial loss of skin pigmentation (colour). However, one photo taken of the dolphin suggests it may have pink eyes, which would indicate a true albino.

Such a condition is often associated with health issues such as a poor immune system, but the dolphin has surprised researchers by surviving so far. It has now been added to a photo-id catalogue so any future sightings can be recorded.

The sighting came just weeks after a rare leucistic bottlenose dolphin, known as Patches, was also seen in the bay.