Rare pink dolphin spotted leaping from Amazon

28th Jun 2013

An extremely rare pink dolphin which usually hides deep in a tributary of the Amazon has been spotted leaping from the water in a move which could attract more nature-loving tourists to the area.

The 21-stone Amazon Pink River Dolphin, which is believed to have special powers, has been photographed in the Amazonian river, looking impressively agile as it rose above the waves.

The bright pink creature is the world's biggest freshwater dolphin in the world, growing to a maximum nine feet long (2.7 metres).

Conservationists believe the potentially endangered mammals are disappearing at a rate of 10% each year.

A return to their previous numbers could swell the already large legions of people who visit the Amazon every year on trekking holidays and specialist wildlife tours.

The dolphin is practically blind and relies on an internal sonar system to manoeuvre under water and hunt food.

Historically, this dolphin, also know as the Boto, hasn't been hunted by humans because of the locals' belief that it has special powers.

Scientists think the dolphin's pinkness may be partly due to its diet of crabs and shell fish.

They are known to flush an even brighter shade of pink when they are excited.

The photos were taken by Michel Watson, who captured many images of the elusive freshwater dolphin before it vanished back into the water.

Watson said he was "thrilled" by his find.

He said: "I was so happy because they don't usually jump a lot and don't normally play like the common marine dolphin so it was quite unusual."

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