Gary Bogue



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‘White’ raccoons: Ever seen a white-blond-tan raccoon before?

“White” (left) and normal colored raccoon (right). Photo by Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, CA
raccoon white ann sevier wc

Gary:
My hubby and I came home to find 4 raccoons on our deck last evening.  I had seen them once before, but failed to get a good pic.  Last night I got 2 good pics showing their unique color.  Please let me know how common tan and brown raccoons are!
Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, California

“White” raccoon, photo by Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, CA
raccoon white3 ann sevier wc

Ann:
Actually, there is a strain of “white” (aka blond or brown-&-tan) raccoons in the San Francisco Bay Area. The “white” color can vary a lot between white and blond. They are most commonly seen in the East Bay’s Diablo Valley area in Concord, Lafayette and Walnut Creek.

These “white” raccoons are not true albinos, which lack any color and have red eyes. There are also occasional albino raccoons that can be found in the same area.

Your photos beautifully illustrate the difference between the white/blond/brown-and-tan raccoons and a normal-colored raccoon.

“White” raccoon, photo by Ann Sevier, Walnut Creek, CA
raccoon white2 ann sevier wc

Interestingly, there is also a similar strain of “white” opossums that roam around the same area as the “white” raccoons. Go figure that one! /Gary

Posted by on January 14, 2011.

Categories: Raccoons

17 Responses

  1. I’ve seen a white raccoon in Lafayette, on Pleasant Hill Road. (Sadly, I witnessed it being hit by the car in front of me.) I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the white coloring. I hope the fascinating strain lives on for many years to come.

    by maura on Jan 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

  2. We have white possums in Berkeley, too — but I’ve never seen a blond raccoon before. Thanks for the photo!

    by Janet Fairchild on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm

  3. Several of the raccoon litters we’ve had foraging in our Walnut Creek backyard nearly every late-summer/early-fall have included a tan pup.

    by Jim Compton on Jan 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

  4. I think the tan and white raccoons are called Cinnamon Raccoons.

    by Sara on Jan 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  5. We have a blond racoon that comes nightly to raid our bird feeders. Unlike the pictures above, there is no hint of a mask however, he does have the darker tail rings. Also, “ours” seems to have more of a pointed snout than your pictures.
    Bob Holdeman
    PS: I hope this “coon” is the only thing Ohio has in common with CA.

    by Bob Holdeman on May 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm

  6. We have a blond raccoon living in our backyard, in Portland, Oregon. Just adorable! It doesn’t have a mask, but a gorgeous ringed tail of orange and white.

    by Carol Lee Boone on May 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm

  7. We had a tan raccoon on our deck last evening in upstate NY. Never saw one before.
    Are they common to the North East? Very sweet looking

    by Pam Butler on Jun 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  8. Pam: “Tan” raccoons are probably either albino or white raccoons. A white/albino raccoon may be anything from pure white to blond to tan. They are spotted occasionally just about anywhere around the country that has raccoons. /Gary

    by Gary Bogue on Jun 23, 2011 at 5:16 am

  9. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it!! Around 5 this morning coming towards me was a HUGE white raccoon in my backyard. We have possums, but this was NOT a possum-the telltale ringed tale gave it away. I had no idea there was such a critter, glad I found this site, now my husband will not have to have me sent to the funny farm. I live just north of Austin, Texas and we are in a very severe drought-I’m sure it was in search of water.

    by Julie on Jul 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

  10. I saw a White Raccoon near Mission Hills Golf Course in Hayward in the early morning 8/8. Beautiful animal with a touch of orange in the tips of it’s fur.
    Mask was not visible and didn’t appear to have pink eyes.
    It looked to be full grown and was with another full grown adult of normal markings, what a contrast.

    by Jeff Smith on Aug 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  11. I had to search the internet when I got home regarding the very light orange / white raccoon I saw this morning crawling up my neighbor’s tree. I thought it was an odd looking tabby at first, until it looked at me. I have seen raccoons my whole life in Livermore, CA, but up until now, never such an unusually colored variety. It’s eyes seemed dark, and it seemed that the light orange color replaced black, and the white replaced the gray. Nature always surprises, I will be quicker with my camera phone next time!

    by Mark W. on Aug 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

  12. Saw a blond raccoon this morning at 3:00 am in Pleasanton, CA.

    by Dawn H. on Oct 11, 2011 at 6:26 am

  13. There is a white raccon living on the five towns college campus in dix hills long island New York

    by John G on Oct 24, 2011 at 4:23 am

  14. I JUST SAW A WHITE RACOON IN MY BACK YARD …I THUGHT IT WAS ONE OF MY ALLY CATS I FEED….HE WAS EATING THE CAT FOOD…HE SLOWLY CLIMBED THE FENCE AND LEFT…I HAD SEEN A RACOON BEFORE BUT NEVER A WHITE ONE WOW… BKLYN NYC

    by LARRY N on Dec 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  15. I am in Livermore, CA. It’s 11:00 p.m. and half an hour ago something big and white on our deck caught my eye. When I investigated I spotted a raccoon–light in color but not white. Sure enough, though, there under the almond tree was its white companion. Just a couple of months ago I was blown away by a black squirrel in our yard. I think spotting a white raccoon, though, is even better!

    by Tami Porter on Jan 29, 2012 at 11:10 pm

  16. Just spotted an ORANGE raccoon. Definitely raccoon as it about 10am in our neighbor’s yard. She saw ‘em too. Ran to get the camera and he/she had jumped the fence… will keep the camera close by incase of a second sighting.

    by Carol J on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

  17. Saw one last night just outside of Omaha, NE. He was all white with coloring only on his ears and ringed tail. So cool looking.

    by Tom on May 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

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About Gary Bogue

My name’s Gary Bogue. Animals have always been a big part of my life. From the spiders I collected as a preschooler, to the boa constrictor my parents gave me one Christmas when I was in high school, to the orphaned mountain lions, eagles, otters, hummingbirds, bears, and other wild creatures I helped raise and [...]more →