‘Adorable’ albino creature spotted on Australia road. See ‘once in a lifetime’ photos
Wandering around in southern Australia, a spiky white creature minded its own business, but the unusual-colored animal quickly drew local attention.
The rare albino echidna was spotted around the Bathurst region, the Bathurst Regional Council said in a May 2 Facebook post.
Echidnas, also called “spiny anteaters,” are an unusual animal found in Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, according to the San Diego Zoo. They are spiny, egg-laying mammals that rely on their hearing and sense of smell. Echidna tend to be solitary and can be seen during the day or night, depending on seasonal temperatures and food availability.
Albino echidnas are “particularly rare with only a handful of the mammals ever sighted in Australia,” the council said. Echidnas usually have a brown and black coloring.
A staff member spotted the rare echidna, named Raffie, the post said. Photos show the animal sniffing and digging in the rocky soil.
“We thought he is just too beautiful not to share,” the council said.
Several people commented on the post calling Raffie “adorable, “a stunner” and “a treasure.”
Another Bathrust local, Geoff Hadley, also spotted Raffie recently. “He was in the middle of the road on a corner I parked my car with hazards and made sure he was safe,” Hadley commented on the Facebook post.
“I thought it had been hit by a car originally because it just wasn’t walking,” Hadley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, describing it as a “once in a lifetime” experience.
“I’ve seen hundreds of echidnas but I’ve never, ever seen a white one — it was just crazy,” he told the outlet.
The council urged people not to touch or approach the rare animal. “It is important to leave wildlife alone, as you could risk them losing their scent trail or leaving young unattended in the burrow,” the post said.
John Grant with WIRES wildlife rescue organization told Australian Broadcasting Corporation that although it’s unclear how rare albino echidnas are, “they’re not common, that’s for sure.”
“I think in all the time I’ve been here, which is … 10 years, we’ve seen three, maybe four,” Grant said of the unusual animal.
Bathurst is about 125 miles northwest of Sydney.
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