When Calypso docked at Port of Manaus in 1982, the largest species of freshwater dolphin would not have realized their name would change forever. The regionally popular red dolphin was renamed by Jacques Yves-Cousteau and, from that French oceanographer’s expedition to the Amazon, the animal became Pink for the whole world.
A huge beauty, charming. He’s a playful kid. The photographer Ricardo Oliveira explains how Calypso catches the fish in a surgical precision way, without touching the tourists hands who usually feed them in Rio Negro waters.
Children play with him like equals. The riverside people call him a ‘thief’ when he steals boldly the loaded fishing net.
In February 1956, the first four pink dolphins were captured in Colombia to be exhibited in United States theme park. Even nowadays, there are aquariums across the planet displaying the pink dolphins. For sure without the magnificent joy shown on this photo, since it has been disappearing as there are high mortality rates in captivities.
After all, among those marine species, dolphins have the largest geographic distribution, about 7 million square kilometers of area, including six countries of South America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. They swim freely throughout all the tributaries of largest known river, the Amazon, which crosses northern Brazil region entering the Peruvian territory. Limits are very shallow waters and impassable waterfalls.
The pink dolphin does not sleep. Legend says pink dolphins turns into a gallant boy at night and gets pregnant young girls. Therefore, north region Caboclos (Brazilian Indigenous and European mixed ) prefer to guard themselves: “Whoever has a young daughter keep an eye on her”.