Weird Looking Animal Spotted in New York State Stumps Facebook
Photos on the internet of various strange phenomena can generate exciting speculation but usually have a plausible down-to-earth explanation. One well-known recent case was a pic of some sort of animal (or person) that was taken outside of a zoo in Amarillo, Texas. And while that photo may have stumped some experts, another case here in New York state was quickly determined to be something not too out of the ordinary.
A Puppy? A Gremlin?
A woman posted pics on Facebook of an animal near some train tracks she witnessed while out four-wheeling with her husband. Syracuse.com says that the couple was near the village of Carthage, NY June 12 when they spotted the creature. Some thought the ghostly white animal may have been a strange-looking dog of some sort. One commenter even thought it may be a capybara (which are native to South America, not upstate New York). But upon closer inspection, the quills say it is a porcupine. In this case, an albino porcupine.
See pics HERE.
Porcupines are generally nocturnal animals, so you don't usually see them in broad daylight like this. Albinos, of any species, are even rarer. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, about one out of every 10,000 of the species is an albino. Albinism is defined by Wikipedia as the congenital absence of melanin in an animal, plant, or person, resulting in white hair, feathers, scales and skin and pink eyes.
Can You Own One as a Pet in New York?
"New World" porcupines are found in forested areas across North America, most commonly in places like northern New England (and some here in the Hudson Valley too). They're hearty too. Porcupines hold the record as the longest-living rodent, according to Wikipedia. Their thousand of quills or spines may look sharp, but according to Wildlifehelp, org, they can not ‘shoot’ their quills, but the quills come out quite easily on contact”. You can even pet a porcupine if you're careful.
Some states will even allow you to own certain species of porcupines as pets, according to Find Law. Pet Helpful says that African Crested, Palawan, and prehensile-tailed porcupines are allowed to be owned as pets in New York state.