A rare, shy and extremely cute snubfin dolphin was spotted off the coast of Australia a few days ago.
The snubfin dolphin, classified by the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable and near threatened species, is believed to belong to a pod of snubfins that travel the Hinchinbrook Channel.
Emma Schmidt, a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service ranger, spotted the playful dolphin jumping out of the water along with 10 humpback dolphins. She said in her 12 years as a ranger, this is only the second time she’s encountered a snubfin.
"They are very rare, so this photo was just pure luck," Schmidt told local news outlet Townsville Bulletin. "We were heading to Sunken Reef Bay and I noticed a pod of about 10 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and among them was this cute little snubby."
So named because of its small, triangular dorsal fin, the snubfin has a blunted, round head and can vary in color from brownish-grey to pale white. Like many coastal dolphins around the globe, snubfins are threatened by coastal development and accidental entanglement in fishing gear.