Rare White Cougar Caught On Camera

First record of leucism in puma from Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Brazil – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Puma-leucism_fig1_330715822 [accessed 28 Dec, 2020]

Leucism is quite a rare condition in animals, where there is a loss of some pigmentation of the animal. Animals with leucism often have patches of their body pale, blonde, or white. The above image of a cougar, also called a puma, is leucistic.

Found in Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Brazil, this male cougar was photographed using a camera trap back in 2013, but the image only became publicly available lots of years later, as this is the first-ever spotting of a leucistic cougar, and such a cougar has never been documented before.

As beautiful as he looks, being fully white may not be a good thing for the cougar. If he was located in grasslands or plains and trying to hunt down prey, he would be easily spotted with his bright white fur. Thankfully, the cougar is located in a forest, so this doesn’t matter.

Cougars aren’t the only animal that can be leucistic. Animals such as hippopotamuses, lions, penguins, bears, and many others can all have leucism, in some animals it’s a rarer condition than others. What’s surprising is in other big cats leucism is much more common than in cougars, as this is the only confirmed case of a cougar with leucism, while there are many other leucistic big cats.

[READ ABOUT LEUCISTIC TIGERS HERE]

Once the cougar was caught on camera, researchers wanted to catch the animal in order to study it. But they never saw it again. More traps were set up, but the animal was never photographed and there are no more signs of it. Another white cougar like this one may not appear again for hundreds of years. ★

Thank you for reading this article.

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