An Australian woman has spotted a rare white kangaroo in Queensland outback. The woman was stunned after catching a glimpse of the animal bounding at a property outside Longreach.
The woman, Sarah Kinnon, clicked the photos of the kangaroo, which were posted on the Facebook page of Outback Pioneers. The photos quickly went viral.
“I was just out with my husband, we were dropping some rams back to the paddock, and there was a white kangaroo,” she told ABC News. “It was pretty incredible to see it, if you put a white sheet of paper next to it, that’s how white it was.”
For Australians, kangaroos are often part of the scenery. But a white marsupial is a rarity.
“It blew me away really,” Ms Kinnon said.
A white kangaroo was spotted in the same area six months ago, but Ms Kinnon didn’t have a camera then.
“I just chucked my daughter to my husband, got my camera and that’s about all I had time for,” she told the news channel.
What is a white kangaroo?
At the Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference in 2016, author Simon Watharow explained that a white kangaroo can be sub-divided into two groups.
Albino: When there is a congenital disorder demonstrated physically through a partial or total lack of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. This is caused by a defect in the enzymes involved in the production of melanin due to a genetic mutation.
Leucistic: This is seen in animals when part of, or their entire, skin, feathers or scales fail to develop due to a fault in the pigment cells. It can occur in only a patch of body surface. The overall individual, therefore, shows normal pigmentation of the eyes – dark versus red in albinos.
Queensland Museum Curator of Vertebrates Paul Oliver told ABC News that the kangaroo’s photo shows it has black eyes. “That suggests it’s not an albino.”
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