Amazing pictures have surfaced of a rare albino dolphin who can change color from white to pink when he gets emotional.
The rare marine mammal lives at the Taiji Whale Museum in southern Japan, where he has been drawing and fascinating huge crowds.
Bottlenose dolphins are typically grey in color, but the albino, named Angel, is completely white, aside from his penchant for turning pink when he’s angry, sad or even embarrassed. (Scroll through for the video.)
Angel’s ability to change his color results from his thin skin, which enables his blood vessels to cause a change in skin tone depending on the mammal’s emotional state.
In other words, dolphins blush the way humans do.
The rare albino specimen is considered to be only the second one ever to live in an aquarium, after it was bought from fishermen last year.
The dolphin was controversially captured during Japan’s annual dolphin hunt in the town of Taiji in January last year.
His unusual coloration enabled the fishermen to get more for the dolphin by selling him to an aquarium than they would have got selling him as meat.
The Taiji hunt was depicted in the 2009 Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”, which showed fishermen capturing hundreds of dolphins for aquariums or to be killed for meat.
According to Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture, which includes Taiji, 1,218 dolphins and small whales were captured there in 2011. The officials did not specify how many of the mammals were killed.
Animal rights activists filed a lawsuit against the Taiji Whaling Museum in May 2014, claiming it had refused experts to examine the safety of the elusive albino dolphin.
However, the museum claims that the mammal’s health has been monitored through periodic blood tests, adding that they are keeping him “physically and mentally healthy” for further research.
It has also been reported that the museum did the dolphin a favor, because albino dolphins are an easy prey at sea as they cannot blend in like their grey counterparts.
According to experts, it is remarkable that Angel had survived for so long before being taken to the museum.
Taiji Whaling Museum, along with the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and the Institute of Cetacean Research, published a study about the dolphin in Mammal Study in March 2015.
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