Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin Color Mutations
A few years ago, word got out that a pink Bottlenose Dolphin was spotted in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain. This really did happen, and the dolphin, named “Pinky,” is pink in color all over. Marineland Dolphin Adventure used to have several “blond” Bottlenose Dolphins – a dolphin that was yellowish-white, with a golden back and melon stripes. These dolphins were originally spotted in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Steinhatchee, Florida (apparently around 1964). Albino Bottlenose Dolphins have also been seen (though they are rare). Another wild Bottlenose Dolphin, named “Patches,” is almost black in color, with white patches all over his body.
In April 2016 and June 2016, I was priveledged to see and photograph a light colored Bottlenosenose Dolphin in Placida Harbor/Gasparilla Sound, Florida. Ever since, I have referred to this dolphin by the nickname of “Zuri,” which means “white.” At first, I had assumed that “Zuri” was an albino Bottlenose Dolphin, but after studying my photographs, it is clear that Zuri is not completely white (note the golden-colored dorsal cape, and in other photos - not posted here - you can clearly see that Zuri has light grayish-golden melon stripes as well). In my opinion, his/her coloration is very similar to that of a “blond” dolphin (see photos of a “blond” Bottlenose Dolphin here). There’s probably no way to know for sure unless some genetic testing was done, but I almost wonder if Zuri could be a blond dolphin as well.
“Zuri,” a white Bottlenose Dolphin in Placida Harbor