Local Wildlife Rescue Names Rare Leucistic Raccoon After Betty White

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CHELMSFORD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A rare leucistic raccoon was rescued by a local wildlife rescue and now its getting a new name to honor a late, animal-loving celebrity.

The Newhouse Wildlife Rescue in Chelmsford received a rare leucistic raccoon, meaning the animal has partial to total loss of color in the animal's fur, from Lawrence Animal Control on Wednesday night. They announced on their Facebook page they were caring for the raccoon, and naming it Betty White, in honor of all the support the organization got on Betty White's birthday.

An exam on the animal showed she is under weight and has a gash on her back right leg. She also was found to have fleas, hook worms, and whip worms, which the wildlife rescue said she has been treated for successfully.

In a post on their Facebook page, the wildlife rescue explained it is difficult for all white animals like this raccoon to survive in the wild because they can lose camouflaging ability, which is a vital survival trait. Newhouse Wildlife Rescue wrote, however, this raccoon proves it is possible for these animals to survive.

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"Many people don’t want us to release animals we receive that are completely white for fear they won’t make it out in the wild," the post reads. "Well no one told her she couldn’t make it out there. She is one of the oldest raccoons we have ever received - proving it is absolutely possible for these guys to live long lives free in the wild and outside of cages."

The Newhouse Wildlife Rescue said "Betty White" is resting comfortably at the shelter and is being fed and treated to make sure she can recover properly.

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