Have you ever seen a golden raccoon?
Everyone has probably at least seen a photo of an albino or mostly white raccoon circulating on the internet. But did you know they sometimes appear in other, rarer color phases?
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources almost always has something interesting to share on its Facebook page, and this week it's a trail camera photo of a golden (or blonde) raccoon. Dave Roth of Madison County submitted this photo.
"Yes, that's a raccoon! Golden or blonde raccoons are just a different shade--but something that's a bit rare to see!" the photo caption reads.
Out of curiosity, I did a bit of research to try and learn more about how rare this is, but I was unable to turn up any scientific numbers on how rare this color phase is. Considering about one in every 750,000 raccoons is albino, it's safe to say these aren't seen everyday.
This condition is caused by a lack of pigment, much like an albino or leucistic animal. I knew black bears sometimes appear in a golden phase like this, but I didn't know about raccoons.
Whatever the cause may be, it sure is interesting. Thanks for sharing, Iowa DNR!