Here’s a story that’s guaranteed to brighten up your Monday… at least a little bit.
A rare pink dolphin was spotted playfully greeting tourists off the Gulf of Thailand this weekend.
The dolphin quickly went viral after Facebook page “Southern Thailand, our home” published the photos, reportedly taken off the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat province’s Khanom District, yesterday morning.
In the photos, the dolphin appears to be happily frolicking in water in close proximity to a wooden boat carrying tourists.
Though they are pink, and thus kind of perfect for this Valentine’s Day week, the dolphins are actually called Chinese white dolphins or Sousa chinensis.
A variety of the the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, they’re also considered “vulnerable” and are included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species — meaning our friend in the pictures is “at high risk of unnatural (human-caused) extinction without further human intervention.”
The dolphins are threatened by habitat loss, over-fishing and pollution. Between 2003–2013, the number of these dolphins around the Hong Kong Bay has declined from 159 to just 61, reported ABC News.
According to Thailand’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation, there are only about 60 of these dolphins living in the area, according to The Thaiger.