By CBSLA Staff

LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA) — A rare albino dolphin was spotted swimming with a pod of 40 Risso’s dolphins just a few miles off Laguna Beach.

Newport Coastal Adventure crew members spotted the albino dolphin in a pod of about 40 about three miles off Laguna Beach, according to Jessica Roame, Dave’s Locker & Newport Landing Whale Watching’s education manager.

(credit: Delaney Trowbridge/Newport Coastal Adventure)

Risso’s dolphins are born dark gray and tend to lighten as they age, due to the scratches they receiving scratches from the teeth of other dolphins, which is considered typical social behavior, plus scarring from the beaks and tentacles of squid, their main food source, Roame said.. However, the dolphin spotted Friday is rather unique for its complete lack of color. Roame says it’s not known if the dolphin is a true albino or be leucistic, which indicates a variety of conditions that result in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.

The white dolphin is not frequently seen off Southern California’s waters – according to Roame, this unique animal was previously spotted in July of 2020 and off San Diego in 2017.