When Alpha Wildlife co-owner Matt Caldwell spotted a distinctive paw print on a glass table at a Tennessee home bedeviled by wildlife raiding bird feeders, he expected to be dealing with a raccoon, reported The Memphis Commercial Appeal.
He never expected to come back to the Collierville, Tennessee, home to find an albino raccoon in one of his traps, Caldwell told McClatchy.
“I’ve seen photos online but never before encountered one in person,” Caldwell said.
He told WZTV he was “excited and taken aback” because albino raccoons are quite rare.
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“They say you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than seeing one of these animals,” Caldwell said, reported WREG.
Amy Spencer, information and education coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, told The Memphis Commercial Appeal that “several albino raccoons” have been spotted at Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, where Alpha Wildlife released the captured raccoon along with other, more routine specimens caught at the house.
David Parrish, also an Alpha Wildlife co-owner, said he was surprised by the size of the albino raccoon, which he estimated to be two to three years old, reported WMC-TV.
“Especially in the wild, it’s color takes away any camouflage it may have to stay alive,” Parrish said, according to the station. “So to find one this big and in the wild was kind of a surprise for us.”