New York man spots rare albino raccoon in his yard

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(WCBS/CNN) – You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than to see a rare albino raccoon. But a man in Long Island, New York beat a one in 750,000 chance to see one.

Dan Dowd is used to the raccoons in his yard by now. In fact, he kind of likes them.

“They dig here for the worms,” Dowd said. “And they visit my vegetable garden and partake in whatever they want. And I don’t mind.”

Dowd said one of the raccoons that regularly visits his garden had babies and he noticed something different about one of them.

“And this year she brought her pups back and one of them was an albino,” Dowd recalled.

Dowd said the rare raccoon has been coming by for a snack every night for four months and he gave it a name.

“I call her Blanca,” he said.

Janine Bendicksen, the director of wildlife rehabilitation at Sweet Briar Nature Center in Smithtown says albino raccoons are not only rare but they rarely live to adulthood because their bright color gives them away to predators.

“They don’t have their camouflage. They don’t have what a normal raccoon would have, which would be the mask, and the coloration that would make him camouflaged,” Bendicksen said.

But for now, the little critter is a regular in Dowd’s area, and is even considered to be a be a mascot for the neighborhood.

“It’s neat. It’s a little special part of nature that likes to hang around. So I’m gonna help it out.”

Dowd says he also found an albino raccoon when he was a kid. So, who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?

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