Rare white dolphin named 'Cherub' spotted again in Clearwater canal

Eek, eek, eek, eek, eek, eek.

click to enlarge Cherub - CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Cherub
There has been another sighting of a rare while dolphin in Tampa Bay waters, and Clearwater Marine Aquarium said “Cherub” appears to be doing well.

CMA estimates Cherub the dolphin to be around 1-2 years old with a condition called hypopigmentation. When Cherub was born, the dolphin had normal coloration but it has been lightening ever since, making the marine mammal appear white.

The most recent sighting of the unique dolphin was in a canal in Clearwater along with three other dolphins. “This is a great sign, as young dolphins rely on their mothers and other dolphins to learn necessary survival skills,” CMA wrote on Facebook.
The aquarium first posted about Cherub a year ago when it said locals had reported sightings of the white dolphin.

CMA said it’s been observing Cherub’s mother, named Guardian, since 2013.

While CMA welcomes reports of seeing Cherub, it emphasizes the importance of not disturbing these wild animals.

Dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, making it illegal to feed, harass, capture or kill them.

The aquarium advises boaters to stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins and other marine mammals and refrain from any activity that could disturb their natural behavior.

Anyone who spots Cherub can call CMA’s hotline at 727-441-1790 ext. 1.

While Cherub’s condition is rare, there are dolphin species that exhibit coloration other than gray. The Amazon river dolphin is often called the pink river dolphin because adults can develop a pinkish color, especially the males.
click to enlarge Cherub in 2021. - PHOTO VIA CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM
Photo via Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Cherub in 2021.

There are also “pink” dolphins in the waters near Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Their official name is the Chinese white dolphin, but they’re called pink dolphins because most have pale pink or even bubblegum pink coloring.

About The Author

Chelsea Zukowski

Freelance contributor Chelsea Zukowski is a Tampa Bay native who started her journalism career in 2014 at the Tampa Bay Times, working her way up from editorial assistant to entertainment reporter and copy editor. After four years in print, she moved on to broadcast as a digital producer with 10 Tampa Bay-WTSP,...
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