Herald Sun

DON’T WORRY, SHE’S ALL WHITE

- CHANEL KIN­NIBURGH

THIS very rare al­bino kan­ga­roo shocked a lucky mo­torist in Mel­bourne’s north­east.

The roo was seen car­ry­ing a reg­u­lar brown joey in its pouch in a field in Smith’s Gully, 35km north­east of Mel­bourne, about 7.40am on Wed­nes­day.

Sasha Uzunov, who snapped the pic­ture of the mag­i­cal mar­su­pial, said ini­tially he couldn’t be­lieve his eyes. “I had ob­vi­ously heard of al­bino an­i­mals but I had never seen a white kan­ga­roo in my life,” he said.

“I had to stop the car and rub my eyes to make sure I wasn’t just imag­in­ing it.”

Its daz­zling white coat was in stark con­trast to the sur­round­ing green grass and the brown fur of its fel­low kan­ga­roos.

Mr Uzunov said: “Its fur looked so thick, and re­sem­bled that of a po­lar bear. It didn’t even have pink eyes, like I would ex­pect for an al­bino.”

The roo’s rare colour ir­reg­u­lar­ity (the odds are about 1 in 20,000) is caused by a ge­netic mu­ta­tion, where there is an ab­sence of pig­men­ta­tion due to a lack of melanin in the body.

But al­bi­nos’ coloura­tion is not good news for them.

It makes them eas­ier prey for wild dogs, foxes, and even ea­gles, from the mo­ment they are born.

And, much like hu­mans with al­binism, al­bino an­i­mals can be more sus­cep­ti­ble to sun­burn and can­cer.

Mr Uzunov said he hoped oth­ers would be for­tu­nate enough to catch a glance of the rare crea­ture hop­ping around.

 ?? Pic­ture: SASHA UZUNOV ?? This al­bino kan­ga­roo was spot­ted near Kan­ga­roo Ground-St An­drews Rd, Smiths Gully.
Pic­ture: SASHA UZUNOV This al­bino kan­ga­roo was spot­ted near Kan­ga­roo Ground-St An­drews Rd, Smiths Gully.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia