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Albino raccoons turn up in Toronto area

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

May 20, 2011 — Three baby albino raccoons were found snuggled up in a Scarborough home on Thursday.

Three albino raccoons found in Scarborough Thursday
Three albino raccoons found in Scarborough Thursday

The cool and wet weather in Ontario this spring could have drawn a family of raccoons to a house in Scarborough.

“Generally raccoons like to den up in attics of homes as they're protected spaces and they're warmer in the colder temperatures,” explains Brad Gates with AAA Gates Wildlife Control.

Gates was called to a home on Thursday and was shocked to see a litter of three rare albino raccoons.

“They say that it's only one in 500,000 to find one albino in a litter. To find three in the same litter, I would guess would be one in ten million or more,” says Gates.

The animals are about five to six weeks old and have been living in the attic for at least that time.

“So we put the babies in a box and the mother will pick up each baby one at a time and move them to a new site. By law in the province of Ontario, we cannot relocate wildlife. It's better to leave the mother in the familiar neighbourhood where she can find new shelter and food.”

Gates says he's done around 300,000 jobs, with two-thirds of them being raccoons, and this is only the third litter he's found with albino babies.

“The male and female both have to have recessive albino genes so it's pretty rare...It's the best job in the world and this is definitely one of the highlights of the job.”

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