Animal Rights

What Is This Strange Creature A Tennessee Man Captured? (Photos)

| by Lauren Briggs
albino raccoonalbino raccoon

When your yard gets torn up overnight, it's usually easy to correctly guess the culprit -- more often than not, it's a raccoon, opossum, rat or maybe a fox or coyote causing the trouble.

That's what a Tennessee man assumed when some critter kept destroying his grass, but when he set a trap, caught the animal and took a good look at it, he was stunned to find something unlike any creature he'd ever set eyes on.

The critter is on the small side and has fluffy fur and a pointy face, somewhat like a fox or raccoon, reports WREG. But its body is completely white.

"I don't know what it is," Calvin Lee of Memphis, Tennessee, told WREG. "Some people say it's an albino raccoon, some says it's an albino fox. I don't know what it is. It's just an animal that I want to get rid of, and no one wants to come and get it."

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Lee is stuck with the animal in the meantime.

"I don't want to put it down, I wouldn't turn it loose," he added. "I want to call someone to come and get it. Maybe there's someone out there who wants it. I don't want it."

He's just glad it's no longer digging around his yard, but the animal's origins remain a mystery.

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The WREG newsroom believes it is a baby albino raccoon, as it looks similar to another photo of one.

It's incredibly rare to spot one of these wild animals, partially as they tend not to survive for long when living in the wild, because their white coats make them stand out, while their dark-colored siblings can camouflage easily and hide from predators.

Albino raccoons are so rare that you have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning than you do of spotting one -- the genetic mutation only occurs once every 750,000 raccoons, notes the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife, according to Wide Open Spaces.

But what do you do with a caged albino raccoon, anyway?

"I called the police department, and I called APEX [Wildlife Control]," Lee told WREG. "They said they'd come and set the traps, but they don't come and pick up trapped animals. So, I don't know what to do with it, so I called Channel 3 news. Maybe you guys will know what to do with it."

Calls to the local zoo and the city have yet to yield help for Lee.

Sources: WREG, Wide Open Spaces / Photo credit: popo.uw23/Flickr, WREG, Whitney Mortensen/Flickr

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