An incredibly rare albino raccoon was captured in Tennessee after the trash panda did what the masked animals typically do: wreak havoc in a family’s backyard.
The rare, colourless raccoon was captured late last month after a family in Collierville called company Alpha Wildlife to trap whatever animal was knocking over furniture and getting into bird feeders in their backyard.
Alpha Wildlife co-owner Matthew Caldwell told USA Today he and his partner responded to a call to investigate what sort of animals they were dealing with. The men had a pretty good idea after noticing paw prints that resembled a raccoon on a glass table and deck railings. So, they set up two live traps and left the property for the night.
The following morning, Caldwell said he received a surprising text from his client.
“”Have you ever seen an albino raccoon?” Caldwell said of the message. “I said ‘not in person.’”
Caldwell and business partner David Parrish headed back to the property to find an albino raccoon in one trap, and a typical coon in the other.
“It’s extremely rare,” Caldwell told WREG Memphis. “They say you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than seeing one of these animals.”
Some reports suggest albinism occurs in mammals in one of every 10,000 births while Caldwell suggested albino raccoons are far less common.
“It was definitely thrilling, I guess you could say,” Caldwell told USA Today. “Some wildlife biologists say one in every 750,000 raccoons are albino. I’d say that’s fairly rare.”
Parrish told WREG he was “a little taken aback” when he first saw the trapped animal.
“I’ve seen albino possums, seen albino deer,” he said. “Never seen an albino raccoon. And for this one to be as big as it is, it’s just kind of a shock.”
Parrish estimated the albino trash panda (the slang term used to describe the critters nowadays) to be about two or three years old.
Alpha Wildlife released both raccoons back into the wild at a state park, north of the county.
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