An injured male albino raccoon that has been treated by Humane Animal Rescue’s Wildlife Center in Penn Hills may soon be ready to go back into the wild.
Clinic manager Jess Lindberg said the rare animal was brought to the center Feb. 4 by an Aliquippa family after they noticed a large abscess on the back of its neck.
The family used food and a trap to capture it.
“He was visiting this property for about a year and people had really grown to enjoy him on their property,” Lindberg said. She said the wound was pretty large, and the animal also had a few parasites.
The raccoon is a true albino with red eyes. Staff had to use heavy gloves and anesthesia when treating it.
“An animal like that is pretty wild and not used to being around people,” Lindberg said. “He was pretty aggressive.”
She said the raccoon is doing well after about a month of treatment for the infected wound. They plan to go to Aliquippa in a few weeks to release it back into the wild.
It is about 2 years old and weighs between 15 to 20 pounds.
Raccoons range in size from 28 to 38 inches, including a 10-inch tail, and usually weigh between 10 to 30 pounds, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission .
They are found throughout the state, often near water sources, and typically live between 10 and 18 years.
Lindberg said her center’s research indicated an individual is more likely to be struck by lightning than to find an albino raccoon. They are estimated to be 1 in every 750,000.
However, this is the third one helped by the wildlife center in the past two years.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.