Photographer Can't Believe He's Seeing A Very Rare Pink Animal

"It was quite astonishing."

A man who has been photographing wild animals for nearly two decades was just wowed by an animal he'd never seen before. 

Patrick Bentley was born and raised in Zambia, home to so many kinds of charismatic and iconic wild animals. He has been photographing them for 18 years.

But there was one very rare sight Bentley hadn't seen — he'd only heard rumors — until he boarded a tiny airplane and over South Luangwa National Park. That's when he could spot, among a group of bathing brown hippos, something pink. 

"I had been told about this pink hippo living in an area called Changwa Channel in the Luangwa River," Bentley told The Dodo. "This channel is famous for holding one of the largest hippo populations in Africa. We went looking for the pink hippo using a microlight aircraft."

But finding the rare animal wasn't easy.

"You would think that the hippo was easy to find being bright pink but it took several days of looking before we found it!" Bentley said. "I had heard rumors that it existed but didn't know for sure ... so it was still a big surprise to see it!" 

The reason this hippo is pink is because of leucism, a condition in which there's a lack of several types of pigment in an animal's skin.

Hearteningly, the pink hippo seemed to be treated normally by his peers. The hippo "looked healthy and was an accepted part of the pod," Bentley added. "It was quite astonishing."

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