In The Pink
Rare pink hippo? It’s not an illusion. A baby pink hippo has been photographed along the banks of Kenya’s Mara River
They say you have to be drunk to see pink elephants. But you really have to be sober to see a rare pink hippo, as two photographers recently did, near Kenya’s Mara River.
English brothers Will and Matt Burrad-Lucas wrote on their blog about their shock at seeing the animal.
“We have just returned from a trip to the Masai Mara in Kenya where we were photographing the annual wildebeest migration,” the blog relates.
“After a rather uneventful morning, we stopped on the banks of the Mara River for a picnic breakfast. It was then that we came across a truly exceptional individual… just as we started to tuck into our breakfast, we looked up and gawked, open-mouthed, as a pink hippopotamus emerged from the river!
“Hippos are usually dark brown in colour, so this individual was very conspicuous! We dropped our breakfast and reached for our cameras. The hippo was clearly a young one since it was much smaller than the others in the group. It was also very shy and tended to stick close to its mother. To avoid frightening it off, we used a long 600mm lens to photograph it from a distance. Nevertheless, it only stayed ashore for few minutes before returning to the safety of the river. Thereafter we caught fleeting glimpses of it as it came up to breathe.”
According to the blog, there have only been a handful of recorded sightings of pink hippos, mainly in Uganda. This would be the first in the Masai Mara.
The pair said the hippo is not an albino and has dark eyes and some pigmented spots on its back. “Therefore it is most likely that this is leucistic hippo,” they wrote. Leucism is when there is a reduced pigmentation.