Photographer Kendra Smith sent pictures and a video of a white raccoon to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This is not an albino raccoon, which would be white with a pink nose and paws. This one has black paws and a black nose, so it’s not completely devoid of coloring. It is instead a leucistic raccoon, meaning it lacks pigment from the parts we would expect color. Like its mask. Which makes it hard for us to recognize as a raccoon at all, but apparently other raccoons know.
So, how rare is this? It’s difficult to say. There are probably many leucistic raccoons, but with this type of coloration, few would make it to adulthood. But enough do to keep it popping up in raccoon populations from time to time. No, really, how rare is this? In short, nobody at ODFW has seen a nearly completely white raccoon in the wild before.
The Department calls this particular raccoon Moby Rick. Click to the right on the image above to see the other pictures; the last image is a video. -via Laughing Squid
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