Leucistic raccoon

An additional trail camera photo submission is highlighted this week for the Bell Press Newspapers Trail Camera Contest. Melissa Johnson, of Cameron, submitted this photo of what she believed to be a rare leucisitic fisher. The animal was captured on a trail camera photo back on Sept. 27. Leucism is a wide variety of conditions that result in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal—causing white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales, or cuticles, but not the eyes. Statewide furbearer specialist, Shawn Rossler was asked his opinion of the unique photo and animal. “What a great photo! This appears to be a leucistic raccoon, rather than a fisher. The blocky head and body are more consistent with raccoon than fisher (however, a definitive answer is obviously unknown at this time). Leucism can be caused by a genetic mutation where melanin isn’t produce, resulting in the white fur. The furbearer program receives about one report/photo of leucistic raccoon annually, about the same for fisher. The reports have come from different regions in the state, so they do occur outside of the Northwest,” he said.

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