Friday, 19. December 2014
27. 08. 14. - 15:00
Marine researchers in Croatia have revealed how they have found a previously unrecorded albino dolphin, one of only 20 in the world.
The rare mammal - named Albus by the research team - was found in the Mediterranean off the coasts of Croatia and Italy.
Experts say the dolphin - who they believe to be male - appears to be in good health.
Albus was first spotted in the sea at outskirts of the eastern Italian port city, Ravenna.
A spokeperson for Plavi Svijet, an Croatian environmental organisation, said: "We have observed an extremely rare albino bottlenose dolphin.
"This appears to be the first albino dolphin spotted not only in the Adriatic Sea, but in the entire Mediterranean.
"Albus was, when we met, with another, normally coloured bottlenose dolphin. Both animals swam and fished, and almost completely ignored us," they added.
Bottlenose dolphins are normally a grey colour but a gene mutation gives the albino variety white skin and pink eyes.
"They are no weaker or less able than other dolphins but because of their colour they can be more vulnerable to predators," said one expert.
But the scientists who found Albus warned: "Please don't try to track him or follow him. The only animal a dolphin has to fear in these waters is man."
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