You will probably never see a white cougar in your entire life.
Even though all animals are special, some are super rare and unique. They can be a beautiful sight to see if they are ever seen by humans at all. This is why humans try not to interrupt animals too much in the wild and set up trap cameras in their natural habitat so they can see these beautiful animals without scaring them away. Sometimes you will get to see a unique animal if you set up the camera in the right place at the right time. These are miracle animals that we don’t even know existed, and we are extremely lucky to capture their beauty on a camera.
Recently, the pictures of a white cougar have resurfaced on the Internet. Scientists and the general public are obsessed with this creature because nobody has ever seen a white cougar before. Scroll down below to see pictures of this extremely rare animal. You don’t get to see something like this every day. What a beauty!
These images were taken way back in 2013, but have resurfaced recently as scientists confirmed that this is the very first case of a leucistic cougar.
Yes, the puma isn’t albino. It is leucistic. In leucism, an animal has a partial loss of pigmentation. So it isn’t purely white.
Image credits ICMBio
The puma was found on a reservation in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest named Serra dos Órgãos National Park. A trap camera captured these photos.
Melanism, albinism, and leucism are not very rare in the animal kingdom, especially in the feline sector. But there were no cases of cougars on record that suffered from these conditions. This was the first-ever case! Scientists do not know the reason behind the rarity of this condition in cougars yet.
“That shows you how extremely unusual it is,” executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cats Program Luke Hunter told National Geographic. “My best guess is that the distant ancestor of pumas was uniformly colored, and that has been maintained in the species ever since. But that’s just a consequence of the randomness of mutation, the roll of the genetic dice.”
This first-ever case of leucism in cougars might have helped scientists understand why it is so rare in the species, but the white puma has not been seen again after this rare sighting in 2013. “The camera trap monitoring project restarted last year, but we still have no new record of this animal or any other odd-colored pumas,” Cecília Cronemberger de Faria, environmental analyst for Serra dos Órgãos National Park, told National Geographic.
Even though animals that suffer from albinism, melanism or leucism might seem beautiful to us, they face a lot of difficulties in the wild. They are hunted by their predators easily as they are vulnerable targets. They also get disowned by their mothers and groups.
What do you think about this rare animal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.