The pink dolphins are not cartoon characters nor are they to be compared with pink elephants. Well, they can be cartoon characters. In “The Conjunction of the Realms (Part One)” the pink dolphins play a huge part in helping transport the humans to the world of imagination, but in the case of Paulo Cardoso or in our material world, they are real dolphins.
For those who have not yet read the book, Paulo Cardoso made a few documentaries on preservation projects in his homeland of Brazil. One of his films, titled in Portuguese, “O Boto Cor-de-Rosa,” featured Brazilian ecologists’ efforts to save the pink dolphins of the Amazon river, not only rare at the time but also endangered. For those who have never heard of these fresh water mammals, they are called Pink Amazon River Dolphins because of a light pink tinge in their almost white skin pigmentation. The ecological project, supported by Paulo’s documentary, gave birth to legends and stories that would educate the next generation of Brazilian children on the importance of preserving our earth’s interconnected systems. In fact, Paulo’s documentary was so successful that today he states with a sigh of relief that the pink dolphin has been removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Resources’ Red List of Endangered Species.
On one of his recent trips to the Amazon forest, Paulo shot a large amount of footage for his new documentary “The Encounter of the Waters.” The encounter of the waters is an unexplainable phenomena where the dark waters of the Negro river and the lighter muddy waters of the Solimões river first collide, then run parallel to each other without mixing for approximately six kilometers (or three and a half miles) and finally join together to form the great Amazon river. The trip required that Paulo contract a small helicopter to get some aerial shots where the contrasting colors of the rivers could be well depicted on screen. After being in the air for a couple of hours, Paulo joined his two-man crew on the small, motorized boat to travel up the Negro River towards Janauari, an ecological park filled with streams and lakes. Paulo, his cinematographer, and their assistant traveled in the small, motorized boat up the Negro River for almost a full day and finally arrived at the ecological park. To his utmost delight, a large pack of pink dolphins, larger than he had ever seen, was at play on the other side of the riverbed. A sight that would have been so rare in the early 1990’s was now more prominent, thanks to his and many others’ efforts to save the happy, playful creatures. Paulo motioned to his camera guy to document the beautiful aquatic ballet. A sighting such as this is simply extraordinary. Every piece of footage on the fresh water creatures is valuable and irreplaceable; Paulo captured every movement of the dolphins provoking each other to good fun while they splashed, jumped, and dove in the river waters innumerous times.
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