There are a lot of interesting variations in animals. Coat colors and body types are some of the most noticeable traits, with dogs arguably showing the most variety as we’ve bred them for specific characteristics through the centuries.
Animals out in the wild still show variations, but when you’re trying to blend in and avoid being eaten, or blend in and avoid alerting prey to your presence, it really pays to fit in.
If you look different, in general, you put a target on yourself out in the wild, and being all-white definitely does that. That is part of the reason albino animals don’t generally last very long (unless they live in places with snow), but they also face a number of health issues because of their albinism.
So when we find a full-grown animal with albinism, it’s especially exciting because that critter has found a way, despite the odds, to survive and thrive.
Matt Caldwell recently ran across an albino raccoon, and it’s an experience he won’t soon forget. He’s co-owner of Alpha Wildlife in Memphis, Tennessee.
“Our team consists of people with many years of experience with animal trapping, prevention, and repairs,” the company’s “About” page reads.
“We can help you get rid of any rodents in the house that can be causing serious damage to your attic or home. We also take the steps to prevent any squirrels, raccoons, rats, or anything else from returning.”
“If you live in the Memphis area, and find yourself hearing noises in the walls or attics, give us a call. We can come out and assess the situation and go through a step-by-step plan to help you.”
They went out on a call to a residence in Collierville. The problem? Raccoons.
They set up their live traps, expecting to catch some trash pandas and relocate them to a state park. When they collected their traps, though, there was a very unusual specimen staring back through the wire.
“I was excited and taken aback at the same time,” Caldwell said, according to Fox 17. “I’ve seen pictures online but never in person.”
Biologists told Caldwell that the likelihood of finding the raccoon he’d just trapped was 1 in 750,000. To put that into perspective, finding an albino deer is only a 1 in 20,000 – 30,000 chance, depending on who you ask.
In other words, this was definitely the find of a lifetime. The raccoon almost looked more like a dirty white, needle-nosed cat than a raccoon.
Caldwell released the rarity into the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park so that he or she could continue living life and spreading their genes.
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