Sunday, April 06, 2008

The case of the orange raccoon

No kidding. A raccoon with no black marks and a coat variously described as orange or blond was recently live-trapped after coming up on the porch of an Indiana family in a rural area near Bloomfield to chow down on leftover cat food.
This case is a reminder that the constant shuffling of the genetic card deck in every species sometimes results in a very strange hand being dealt.
The trapper arranged to have the animal taken it deep into the woods and let go.
Looking at the various local stories on this animal, it appears this occurred in February, and the animal (or a close copy, likely a relative given the rarity of the mutation) was live-trapped again in March by a seventh-grader in Greene County. The youngster's family reported calling the Indianapolis Zoo and being unable to convince anyone they really did have an orange raccoon.
More photos and comments are available at

I'm not clear on just where the animal is now. Does anybody know?


Karen Singer said...

I live in central Ohio. We have a mother raccoon with three babies. One of them is ORANGE. So much in fact, that we thought it was our cat. We are trapping them and moving them down to the bottoms by the creek. Far away from my back door. We had a somewhat partial blond before (lighter with very light hindquarters) but this one is ORANGE.

Matt Bille said...

Thank you for your comment. Nice to know there is more than once case out there!
(It can be challenging to trap raccoons. My dad in Maine once box-trapped a young garden-raiding raccoon intending to relocate it, but in the morning the "twist and pull" latch on the outside of the door had little scratch marks on it and there was no raccoon - we surmised its mother might have figured out how to release it!

Sheri said...

I'm in Antioch, CA and we have one here. He is very large too.

Matt Bille said...

Sheri, very cool. It's interesting to learn of more cases, although I suppose there are hundreds of thousands of raccoons in the country.