A rare albino raccoon recorded roaming through a suburban Toronto backyard has been given a name (Theodore) and a number: one in a million.
If a “trash panda” wears no mask as it patrols the urban lawnscape from one dumpster to the next, is it still an endangered species? Yeah, kinda... but not in the way actual Giant Pandas are, even though this particular snow-white critter is very much a raccoon.
“I was sitting on the back patio when all of a sudden, this little furball appears,” stated Joshua Patrick to reporter Jenny Yuen of the Toronto Sun. “And so, I started recording it. One in 750,000 actually sees an albino raccoon. That was a first in Toronto for me. It was pretty awesome.” OK, so it's not quite one in a million but albino raccoons aren't often seen, even though they're startlingly visible. As you might imagine, that's really not a good thing.
“I think it was blind because it kept running into things,” added Patrick, a 30-year-old resident of Toronto's Leaside borough who works in the service industry. “He didn't know where he was going,” as is evident when viewing this video. As awesome as the experience of being visited by an all-white raccoon might be, there's a dark side: albinism is anything BUT awesome for wildlife.
“We do get reports about baby albino raccoons from time to time and we've admitted a number of them over the years,” stated Nathalie Karvonen, executive director of the Toronto Wildlife Centre. “They’re not usually happy stories. They tend mostly to be blind and usually have physiological problems. They usually don't make it (to adulthood).” At press time, Karvonen couldn't confirm whether the TWC had received any other reports of Theodore's late night wanderings. (via Toronto Sun)