New York man spots rare albino raccoon in backyard

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Friday, October 18, 2019
NY man spots albino raccoon in backyard
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A man in Long Island, New York beat the odds and captured a rare albino raccoon on camera.

EAST NORTHPORT, New York -- A man in New York beat the odds and captured a rare albino raccoon on camera.

Dan Dowd said he is used to raccoons in his yard, but when one had babies, he noticed something different about one of them.

"They visit my vegetable garden and partake in whatever they want, and I don't mind," he said. "And this year, she brought her pups back and one of them was an albino."

The fluffy raccoon is all white with pink eyes and a pink nose.

Dowd said it has been coming by his Long Island home for a snack every night for four months. Often enough he decided to name it.

"I call her Blanca," he said.

So, how rare is an albino raccoon? Turns out, a person is more likely to be struck by lightning than to see an albino raccoon in the wild. Chances are about 1 in 750,000.

Janine Bendicksen, director of wildlife rehabilitation at Sweet Briar Nature Center on Long Island, said it is rare for an albino raccoon to live into adulthood because their colors gives them away to predators.

"They don't have their camouflage. They don't have what a normal raccoon would have, which would be the mask, and the coloration that would make him camouflaged," she said.

But for now, Blanca is a regular in Dowd's neighborhood.

"It's neat. It's a little special part of nature that likes to hang around. So, I'm gonna help it out," he said.