EAST NORTHPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One raccoon a Long Island neighborhood buzzing and when you see it, you’ll know why this critter is stealing the show.
It is not uncommon to see raccoons rummaging around for food in back yards, but one of those critters sticks out like… well, like a bright white raccoon, reports CBSN New York’s Nick Caloway explains.
“They dig here for the worms,” said Dan Down of East Northport, who has grown accustomed to the furry visitors. “They visit my vegetable garden and partake in whatever they want. And I don’t mind.”
When one of the regular raccoons had babies, he noticed something different about one of them.
“There were three raccoons, you could tell were raccoons, and one white fluff. First we thought it was a possum and got the camera out, zoomed in and it was a raccoon,” he said. “I call her Blanca.”
This animal is a very rare albino.
A wildlife expert said this raccoon is so rare, the odds of seeing one are about 1-in-750,000.
You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of seeing one of those in the wild.
“This was really cool,” said Janine Bendicksen, director of Wildlife Rehabilitation at the Sweet Briar Nature Center in Smithtown. “I would love to see it in person.”
She says albino raccoons are not only rare but they rarely live to adulthood because their bright color gives them away to predators.
“They don’t have their camouflage,” said Bendicksen. “They don’t have what a normal raccoon would have, which would be the mask, and the coloration that would make him camouflaged.”
But for now, the little critter is a regular in Dan Dowd’s area. It’s even considered a mascot for the neighborhood.
“It’s neat,” he said. “It’s a little special part of nature that likes to hang around, so I’m gonna help it out.”
As rare as they are, Dowd says he also found one when he was a kid, so who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?