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Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...

It’s White Alright …!!

In the past year, global attention has been on a young albino bottlenose dolphin calf called Angel (or Shoujo) who was captured in the Taiji drive hunts in January. Angel is currently living in small, cramped and confined conditions in the Taiji Aquarium where sadly her life will be a far cry from what she would have experienced had she been left with her family in the wild. However, for another albino bottlenose dolphin the future is hopefully much brighter!

Researchers at the Blue World Institute in Croatia knew that there was an albino dolphin in their survey area of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas but no good quality photographs existed and therefore very little was known about its sex, age, health and condition. A chance encounter the other day soon put paid to some of their questions as they encountered “Albus” happily feeding alongside another normal coloured bottlenose dolphin. Given the behaviour of the two dolphins, they are making an educated guess that Albus is in fact a “he” as adult male bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic usually spend their time in pairs or small groups and only join females when it’s time to mate.

In general, albino dolphins are as healthy as those with normal colouration, however there can be some associated issues that affect their vision and/or hearing, they may find it more difficult to attract a mate and may face a higher risk of sun-damage. 

Albus (latin for “white”) however has successfully made it to adulthood and it is hoped that he will live a long and happy life swimming wild and free. 

About Nicola Hodgins

Policy Manager at WDC