Photos

Kanawha park officer spots rare albino raccoon

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo courtesy of James Butler An albino raccoon peers out of a dumpster at Charleston’s Coonskin Park on Tuesday. James Butler, a Kanawha County Park Police Department officer, said he found five young raccoons, including the rare albino, stranded in the dumpster during a routine evening patrol.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo courtesy of James Butler
An albino raccoon peers out of a dumpster at Charleston’s Coonskin Park on Tuesday. James Butler, a Kanawha County Park Police Department officer, said he found five young raccoons, including the rare albino, stranded in the dumpster during a routine evening patrol.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — When Kanawha County Park Police Officer James Butler heard strange sounds coming from a Coonskin Park dumpster Tuesday, he dutifully peeked inside to see what was going on.

He wasn’t expecting a once-in-a-lifetime animal sighting.

An albino raccoon was among five young raccoons that had found themselves stranded Tuesday evening inside the dumpster in a maintenance area where they had been scavenging for food. Butler said he heard the creatures crying and was stunned when he saw the white raccoon.

“The dumpster had apparently been emptied and the garbage level was low and the raccoons couldn’t reach the top to get back out,” Butler said.

Butler placed a piece of wood inside the dumpster to allow the raccoons to climb out. He snapped a close-up photo of the albino, which has light-yellow eyes, white fur and a very faint mask and stripes…

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