Lifestyle & Human Interest

Trapper 'Taken Aback' When He Captures Rare Albino Raccoon in Cage


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.

'Clueless' Star Breaks Party Lines, Makes Surprising Endorsement for President in 2024

“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.”

Have you ever seen an albino animal in the wild?

“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.”

Baby Bison Euthanized After Clueless Yellowstone Tourist Makes Fatal Mistake

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.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, ,
Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking