This is Migaloo, "the only documented albino humpback whale in the world." His first discovery was in 1991, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Since then, researchers have kept a close eye on him, proving thanks to DNA testing that he was indeed albino. His name comes from an Australian aboriginal term meaning "white fella".
Albino kangaroos are rare in nature, with mammologist Mark Eldridge estimating that they "only occur once every 50,000 to 100,000 animals". And, like other albino animals on this list, surviving in the wild is difficult due to their lack of ability to hide from predators. Recently, however, the first albino kangaroo born in a zoo came into the world, and is thus far living a happy life.
It's no secret: The skunk stinks. But not always. They only secrete their smelly spray when they feel threatened, as a measure of last resort. In fact, some folks even keep albino skunks as a pet. They should be wary, though, as skunks are "the primary carriers of rabies in the Midwest".
This is Twinkie, the largest albino reticulated python in the world. The snake lived a long and happy eleven-year life, before succumbing to natural causes at the Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley, CA. Boasting a 20-feet-plus length, Twinkie made appearances on The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien and even went viral on Tumblr.
Albino squirrels are rare. Thus, when some American cities have found them, they've staked their claim to them. Both Olney, IL and Marionville, MO call themselves "Home of the White Squirrels". Olney's police department has images of the creatures affixed to their uniforms. Marionville's town historian asserts they've been there since the 1800s.
This baby albino turtle is adorable. Unfortunately, it has a tough life ahead. "Only one in 1,000 green turtles typically survives to maturity", according to Coolum and North Shore Coast Care president Leigh Warneminde. Albino turtles' odds are even lower, due to their increased visibility to predators.
"Everybody asks me 'Are they rare?'" said Harry Kunz from the Eagles Nest Wildlife Sanctuary. He's referring to a pair of albino kookaburras discovered in Queensland, Australia. Kunz explained why they seem so rare: "In nature they would not survive a few days out of the nest because their white colour sticks out and every reptile, owl or predator will get them."
Albino Turkey Vulture
If you think regular vultures are rare, popping up only in old Westerns, seeing albino turkey vultures must be akin to seeing Santa Claus. Just, you know, if Santa pecked the bones of dying prey. Thus, when 11-year-old Kylee Tyson saw one in Stuart, VA, that city's bird club assured her the specialness of her sighting.
Albino wallabies are rare but not impossible to find. And unfortunately, they're lucrative on the black market. Thankfully, when one was spotted hopping along a small road in Marlborough, UK, Valerie Hood stopped merely to photograph the creature. "It crossed the road in front of us, looked around at us and went off into the bushes," she said. "It seemed so whacky but it was definitely a white wallaby."
Some researchers disagree on whether to call these types of zebras "albino", due to ambiguity whether a reduction in pigment rather than a complete abscence of pigment qualifies as albinism. Regardless of these quibbles, they're still beautiful creatures, even as Three Ring Ranch executive director Ann Goody claimed "they have an attitude about them, which is delightful in its own obnoxious way."
This is Bertie, an albino peacock who roams the small town streets of England in search of a mate. While he's doing everything right from a peacock's perspective -- wandering around while "fanning his beautiful white feathers and dancing" -- there's just one problem. There are no female peacocks in the small town streets of England. "I made sure I locked my dogs indoors so they wouldn't try and eat him," said resident Rose Botting.
For professional fisherman, finding a rare albino lobster might be considered the haul of the century, netting a pretty penny. But for Canadian fisherman John Baird, the plan was clear: Show him off briefly, and then return him into the ocean. "People are coming in just to take a look at him," said Karren Worden, who works in the seafood department at a local seafood grocery store.
What a unique ape this is. His name was Snowflake, an albino gorilla who resided at the Barcelona Zoo for forty years until his death from skin cancer in 2003. He is the only known albino gorilla in the world, and recently, it was revealed that his parents were uncle and niece, resulting in his genetic mutation. Scientists preserved his DNA in 2012 for further study.
Meet Onya-Birri, the amazingly cute koala who joined the San Diego Zoo in 1998. He was the only albino koala available to the public in a zoo, and his name is an Aboriginal word for "ghost boy". "We had no idea that either of Onya-Birri's parents carried the recessive gene for albinism," admitted Valerie Thompson, associate curator of animals.
In Yorkshire, UK, albino hedgehogs are becoming a surprisingly common occurrence. "Almost every year our Rescue admits albino hedgehogs," says Annette Pyrah, who runs the Wildlife Orphanage and Hedgehog Hospital. "Considering that there are supposedly only 100 of these rare creatures in the whole of Britain, and only one albino per 100,000 born, then it truly appears that Yorkshire is a real hotspot for albinos." This cute critter is named, of course, Twinkle.
Albino Giant Gourami
The giant gourami ain't named ironically. It can get up to 2 1/3 feet in length, towering over most fish you'd find in an aquarium. The fish was originally discovered in the isle of Java, where it is lovingly referred to as the "Water Hog". Its appetite is intense. They're ominvores who eat a lot, and some owners of the fish even report that they eat "cooked meat, bread, boiled potatoes and other vegetables".
Are albino elephants rare? Depends on where in the world you're looking. Asian albino elephants are relatively common, but in Africa, it's a much more surprising sight. However, Dr. Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders remarked on these rare creatures' ability to adapt and survive: "Already the two-to-three-month-old calf seems to be walking in the shade of its mother. This behaviour suggests it is aware of its susceptibility to the harsh African sun, and adapted a unique behaviour to improve its chances of survival".
If you see a pink dolphin in Louisiana, you're not hallucinating. You're seeing Pinkie, the albino dolphin that's become a bit of a local celebrity. Captain Erik Rue, of the Calcasieu Charter Service, has been following Pinkie around, and recently proved that she was a female. "It's very stunning to look at," he said. "It's interesting to know things like that exist in the world and it's really beautiful to see that."
This deer suffers both from albinism and an irregular antler. Thus, wildlife photographer Mike Crowley dubbed him Broken Ear. Crowley discovered the animal in Wisconsin, noting his courage and fortitude. Despite Broken Ear's setbacks, he finds food, defends himself from predators, and even grew some of his antlers back.
For readers of a certain geographical area, chipmunks are pretty darn common. But if you ever see an albino one, take out a camera and capture the beauty, pronto. Norman Laramee of Loudon, NH stacked the deck, as one of these critters went into Laramee's backyard and ate some peanuts Laramee leaves in a bird feeder. Laramee plans on leaving more out for his new friend, whom he dubbed Whitey.
Unlike most of the animals on this list, albino catfish are actually pretty common. They even have "a versatile and adaptive ability to survive and thrive in a range of fresh water acidity and temperature", unlike other albino animals whose condition makes them easier targets for predators and environmental hazards.
This is White Cloud, a rare albino buffalo that lived in Michigan, ND. She lived a long, happy life, giving birth to eleven calves, including another albino buffalo named Dakota Miracle. Life was often hard for White Cloud, as her albinism made summer months difficult to abide through. But she was a special buffalo, a living example of the Native American idea that a white buffalo is sacred. She died in 2016.
When Dr. Amanda Wilson, chair of the Tayside Bat Group, heard an albino bat was spotted in Angus, Scotland, she got excited. "We haven't spotted one before as a bat group and we've been going for 30 years, so it's very rare." Wilson warned anyone that the bat may be confused, may be flying during the day, and may be a target for cats or owls.
If you saw an albino crow, you may just think, "That must be a seagull". And while blackness in color is typically an iconic part of a crow's image, these rare, all-white albino crows do exist. As wildlife blogger SeEtta Moss noted, these parts are much more susceptible to predators. Even other, "regular" crows tend to treat them differently.
Claude captures your attention, doesn't he? The albino alligator resides at the California Academy of the Sciences in San Francisco. In 2015, he celebrated his 21st birthday, and the entire city came out to celebrate. Claude got some cupcakes as a treat, and his fellow albino animal friend Pete, a python, wore a dang birthday hat.