Incredible rare white dolphin spotted in California

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Friday 19 March 2021 09:27
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Casper is believed to be an albino and experts are worried about him because his colourings make him vulnerable to predators

( Chris’ Fishing and Whale Watching/Youtube)

A rare white dolphin has been spotted off the California coast, according to a recently-emerged set of photographs.

Casper, the self-explanatory name of the animal, was first seen hanging out just off Monterey Bay in 2015. Since then, glimpses of the snowy dolphin have been rare. He is one of just a few to have been seen across the world.

His latest sighting is great news, as he is a target for predators, as white is not easily camouflaged.

Dolphin experts believe that Casper is albino as he has not been photographed without his eyes open, implying the glare of the sea is too bright for him.

The photos were captured by photographer Jodi Frediani who also believes he is an albino.

She said: “Folks have said they cannot tell if Casper is leucistic or albino, as we cannot see his eye.

“I’m going with albino, with the eye closed as a clue, I’m guessing an albino eye would find the light and ocean glare too much. Casper does have a few ‘freckles’ but albinos are not always totally lacking in pigment.”

She added: “We saw several grey whales and pair of humpback whales, who even lunge fed - which is my favourite thing to see - but Caspar definitely stole the show.”

Caspar was spotted earlier in 2017 by Josh McInnes, a researcher at Marine Life Studies, and expressed hesitancy about Caspar’s life chances.

He told IFLScience: “We do not know much about the foraging patterns of Risso’s dolphin. We do know they specialise in squid. This animal may find feeding easier by group living.”

Natalie Banks, founder of marine conservation organisation Azraq said to The National: “Young Risso dolphins are grey, olive-brown colour. But as they get older, they get whiter and whiter.”

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