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This article originally appeared in the Sydney Sun-Herald. in March 1996

White out of the blue
White Common Dolphin (PLAY, MISTY: Paul Ferraro's fabulous photo of the white dolphin- believed to be an Australian first - has scientists in a spin)

Daniel Dasey - Sun Herald, Sydney - Amateur fisherman Paul Ferraro's heart raced when, in a pod of frolicking grey dolphins, he glimpsed a spectacular splash of white.

  The rare white dolphin, believed to be the first captured on film in Australia, was sighted off the South Australian coast and confirmation of its existence has set the scientific world in a spin.

  The photos are being sent for analysis by experts in Australia and the US, where authorities are trying to determine whether it is a genuine white dolphin, capable of breeding, or a rare freak of nature - an albino.

  Less surptised by the find are the people of the South Australian coastal town of Victor Harbour where the friendly mammal - dubbed Misty - has been a part of local folklore since it first appeared 10 years ago. Mr Ferraro who captured this spectacular shot, dangling by his feet from the stern of a fishing charter boat, had given up hope of seeing it until, after a day's fishing, a pod of 30 grey dolphins began playfully keeping pace with the boat. He noticed flashes of white when out of the blue water the white appeared. Mr Ferrero, of Adelaide, shot two rolls of colour film as the pod scooted around for about half an hour.

  Most experts who have examined the shots agree the white appears to be an adult common dolphin about 1.75 metres long. The sex of the animal cannot be determined from above the water.

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