Pink Dolphin, Blue-Headed Bear and a Fluorescent Boar

Is there something in the water? That might explain a pink dolphin, but what about a blue-headed bear or a wild boar whose insides are a fluorescent hue? Those are the odd-colored animals in this week’s news. What’s happening?

The pink dolphin has been seen sporadically for years in Louisiana. Pinkie was discovered in 2007 swimming in Calcasieu Lake, a brackish lake near the Gulf of Mexico just south of the city of Lake Charles. Most marine experts believe the bottlenose dolphin is a rare albino (one of just 14 worldwide) which happens to be bright pink instead of white, but a few think she has a genetic disorder that caused the common pink belly color of the bottlenose dolphin to spread all over. The big news is that a local charter boat captain saw Pinkie mating recently and thinks she might be pregnant, so her fans may be seeing one or more new pink babies soon.

The blue-headed bear of British Columbia

The blue-headed bear of British Columbia (Photo thanks to Aaron Smith)

Meanwhile, people living near Silvermere Lake in British Columbia are watching for the blue-headed black bear captured on video by an alert photographer. The B.C. Conservation Officer Service looked at the video and believes the bear stuck its head in some paint, got sprayed by a blue dye pack like the kind used to catch bank robbers (perhaps they should check if any local banks were robbed by a bear in a human mask) or was shot with paint balls. In any case, it appears the bear is healthy and the color should fade as its fur grows out.

Boar with fluorescent blue fat

Boar with fluorescent blue fat

The fluorescent boar doesn’t have such an easy explanation. A rancher in Morgan Hill, California, killed the wild pig and, when it was cut open for butchering, found that the bacon was makin’ an eerie glow. Specifically, the boar’s fat was a fluorescent blue, but the meat, blood, skin and everything was whatever color a boar’s insides are supposed to be.

Blue bacon?

Blue bacon?

One thought is copper poisoning, but there are no copper mines nearby and no other boars have ever been found there with fluorescent blue innards. Samples were sent to UC Davis to determine if it’s a bacterial infection or something else.

What do you think? Is nature trying to remind us that color really doesn’t matter?