8 min read

Albino Animals That Need Our Protection (And Lots Of Love)

<p> Peter Trimming / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/peter-trimming/7169746513" target="_blank">Flickr</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="_blank">CC BY 2.0</a>)<br> </p>

Animals with disorders such as albinism and leucism have a lack of pigment and therefore stand out from their fellow species. These animals are very rare, but they are becoming a bigger part of the animal world due to breeding programs. The animals are all spectacular in their own right and bring a unique edge to the animal kingdom.

In their natural habitats their looks affect their lives - animals affected by albinism have a lower rate of survival in the wild because of the lack of camouflage. Sometimes they are rejected by mates and excluded from their families. There have been protection societies set up such as the Albino Squirrel Preservation Society (ASPS) and they are now being protected for ecology and behavior studies. Here's a list of five albino animals that you'll want to protect and love.

Different kind of scales

HarshLight

How about this fella? Well, albino alligators might not be the cutest of all animals but it's fascinating that reptiles can also be affected by albinism. This difference is quite pronounced because the usual alligator has much darker green/brown coloring, with this one you can see all the ridges and crevices on the alligator and it just shows how fascinating their form is.

Snowflake the gorilla

Wikipedia

Snowflake the gorilla was a resident at the Barcelona Zoo in Spain and is perhaps one of the most famous albino animals. He had poor vision which is a common occurrence when you are albino. He was welcomed to Spain and made famous in the newspapers in 1966. He was brought in as an attraction, but it was important to protect him, because he lacked protection and may not have survived in the wild. He died in 2003 due to skin cancer which was thought to be due to his albinism. Snowflake was very popular and had many people come and visit him before he died. He has also fathered a lot of gorillas, as the zoo was hoping to breed more albino animals. It could be seen as questionable to breed more albino gorillas, because of the conditions that can affect them (such as the poor eye sight and cancer risk increase) and the fact they would always have to be in captivity, maybe it was for their own protection but was also a unique selling point for the zoo.

Not the same stripe

This zebra is the most fashionable of all the zebras, you might even argue that is looks much better than the typical black and white. All zebras stripes are unique in shape but these albino zebras are doubly unique and look so adorable it's hard not to go up to it and hug it! It's probably not a good idea though as they're not domesticated, unlike their relatives, horses and donkeys.

Wallaby whiteness

This little wallaby wins cutest albino animal! There is a population of Bennett's wallabies that live on Bruny Island in Tasmania and this shows that the albino gene in wallabies is very strong. Unlike some other albino animals many joeys are also born albino (not just with a recessive gene). It would be really fun to visit this island; they are just so adorable and they even live in the wild.

Majestic peacock

The white peacock is even more spectacular than its colorful counterpart. Its lacy feathers make it look like royal and it definitely knows it. It's one of the most amazing animals because even without the distinctive colors it's still flashy and noticeable, which is why they're so colorful in the first place. Technically this peacock is not albino; it has a genetic mutation called leucism which causes the lack of pigmentation.

Do you have an interest in animals and would love to work closely with them? Then check out Frontier's wildlife and marine conservation projects. You can dive in the deep with turtles and dolphins or stay dry on land and look after elephants, tigers and sloths!

By Fay Partridge Fay Partridge is an Online Journalism Intern at Frontier, an international non-profit volunteering NGO. Frontier has over 300 dedicated conservation and community development projects as well as plenty of inspiring www.frontier.ac.uk/Volunteer/Volunteer.aspx?utm_source=TheDodo&utm_medium=gapyearblog&utm_campaign=BlogArticle">gap year ideas to help make your time out meaningful. For more information on all the opportunities available please visit www.frontier.ac.uk. Check out Frontier's blog "Into the Wild" where you can read more articles like this! Happy reading!

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