Rare albino raccoon caught, released in North Carolina


    Albino raccoon released on Feb. 6, 2019 (Pamlico County Animal Control)

    MERRITT, Pamlico County, N.C. (WCTI) - Now there's something you don't see every day.

    A rare albino raccoon was caught and later released in the Bay Shores Estates subdivision of Merritt in Pamlico County. It was caught on Feb. 5 and released soon after a member of animal control investigated.

    Jim Pierpoint said in an email he and his wife, Bev, noticed their cat seemed upset about something in the woods. That led to an idea. They set a trap that ended up doing its job, landing a rare albino raccoon inside.

    Pierpoint said the raccoon had none of the colors that a regular raccoon would have such as black stripes around its body and no black mask around its eyes.

    “At first we thought we had a red fox,” said Pierpoint said. “It was a beautiful animal. But make no mistake this was a wild animal.”

    Albino raccoon found in Merritt (Pamlico County Animal Control photo)

    Pierpoint said Berkley Hill, an animal control officer, examined the raccoon to confirm it was an albino. After it was determined to be healthy, it was returned to the wild.

    Pierpoint said the odds of seeing an albino raccoon are 750,000 to 1. Most albino raccoons don’t live very long. They don’t have the normal gray-brown camouflaged color of a normal raccoon and are easy prey for other animals.

    Hill said the raccoon was the first albino he had ever seen, other than in pictures.

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