Rare Spotted Dolphin Seen Swimming Off Southern California Coast

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — “Patches” the speckled dolphin has been spotted off the coast of Southern California.

The Orange County Register reported Tuesday that the notorious “Patches” had been swimming Monday with about 40 other dolphins.

“Patches” and his fellow offshore bottlenose dolphins swam northwest after being spotted by Robin Lowe, an American Cetacean Society naturalist.

“I was over the moon with excitement,” said Lowe, who has seen photos of Patches but has never actually saw him live. “As the naturalist on board, I was able to explain how rare it is to see Patches.

Lowe says the famous dolphin has Leucism, a condition in which a reduction in melanin causes a partial loss of pigmentation in an animal. This results in white, pale, or patchy coloration.

The dolphin had been named in 2006 and has been seen between San Diego and Palos Verdes a few times since then.

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