This photo shows a white cougar, caught on a trail camera at Serra dos Órgãos National Park in Brazil. It was snapped in 2013, and the cat was never seen afterward. The photos from that time are the only evidence of a cougar with leucism in the wild. Ever.
“That shows you how extremely unusual it is,” says Luke Hunter, executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cats Program and author of the book Wild Cats of the World. “It’s a striking set of photos.”
Genetic color aberrations, such as albinism and leucism, are relatively common among wild cats, but for unknown reasons, they’re almost unheard of in cougars, a successful predator whose habitat stretches from Canada to Chile, the biggest north-south range of any wild cat.
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