Lake Merritt is a beautiful urban lake in Oakland, California, and a new photo has emerged that shows it’s also home to a very rare animal – an albino raccoon.
It has been hypothesized by wildlife biologists that albinism occurs in about one in every 750,000 raccoons. And the ones that are born don’t survive for very long because they lack the camouflage to hide from predators.
But this rare phenomenon was spotted at Lake Merritt, where Reddit user Breakfast_Is_Best snapped this incredible photo (see the whole post here):
“One of my favorite residents at Lake Merritt,” Reddit user Breakfast_Is_Best captioned the rare photo taken the morning of July 8. “It’s definitely wild. I see it in the morning sometimes on my way to work. It likes to hang out near the lawn bowling courts across the street from the bird sanctuary.”
Much to the surprise of the user who posted the photo, other users had seen the little critter too.
“I’ve seen it around! Thought it was a cat at first and was going to try to pet it until I realized my mistake,” one user replied.
“There’s two of them and they hang out together,” another Redditor commented.
One user even pointed out that there was a video of a similar raccoon taken in the area in 2016. And then another showed that the animal (or one like it) was even featured in the Lake Merritt July 2013 Newsletter.
So the question remains, is there one very active albino raccoon that lives at Lake Merritt? Or are there multiple? Maybe even a whole colony? Talk about a rare occurrence.