August 20, 2019
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Rare albino porcupine spotted in Kennebunkport

Courtesy of Fred Hessler via CBS 13
Courtesy of Fred Hessler via CBS 13
An albino porcupine was spotted at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport on Tuesday.

An albino porcupine was spotted at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport on Tuesday.

The photos of the rare rodent were taken by Fred Hessler.

Employees say they thought the animal was a skunk at first, so they kept their distance.

Albinism is a genetic condition that prevents cells from producing melanin, which gives hair and skin color. It results in light skin and hair, as well as pinkish or red eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

It is extremely rare among porcupines, and while no good data are available on how common it is among the rodents, some biologists estimate it occurs once in every 10,000 births, according to New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR.

At least two albino porcupines were spotted in Maine in 2018. In May, an albino porcupine was seen crossing a road in Kennebunk, and in December, another was spotted waddling in the Windham woods.

BDN writer Christopher Burns contributed to this report.

Related: Albino porcupine waddles through the Maine woods

 



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