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“White cougar” discovered for the first time in the Atlantic forest of Brazil!

A series of photos taken using a trap camera in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, a reserve located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, was shared online the other day. It is special that these photos are of an extremely rare animal, the white cougar.

These four photographs, taken in 2013, were suppressed. But recently the photos resurfaced as scientists confirmed that this was the first recorded sighting of a leucistic puma.

Genetic variations such as albinism, leucism and melanism are common among feral cats. Cougars have never been reported to suffer from these genetic conditions. Its cause is still a mystery to scientists.

“That shows you how extremely unusual it is,” executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cats Program Luke Hunter told National Geographic.

“My best guess is that the distant ancestor of pumas was uniformly colored, and that has been maintained in the species ever since. But that’s just a consequence of the randomness of mutation, the roll of the genetic dice.”

Researchers have not yet been able to understand why this genetic color deviation occurs so rarely. This was also the first case of leucism affecting a cougar. But unfortunately, after the encounter in 2013, this rare white cougar was never seen again.

“The camera trap monitoring project restarted last year, but we still have no new record of this animal or any other odd-colored pumas,” Cecília Cronemberger de Faria, environmental analyst for Serra dos Órgãos National Park, told National Geographic.

Such unique, improbable color change of these animals is not unique to them. Other wildlife with albinism, melanism or leucism face many challenges. So even they are a great sight. They are often extremely vulnerable to naturally strong predators. It is very sad that these animals are often rejected by their groups.

According to,

(Photos rights to original owner)



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