Spotless Albino Panda Caught on Camera for Very First Time
OutdoorHub Reporters 05.28.19
An incredibly rare spotless albino panda has been captured in photographs for the first time ever.
The all-white giant panda was spotted wandering through Wolong National Nature Reserve in China’s southwestern Sichuan province. According to reserve management authorities, the albino panda is estimated between 1 and 2 years of age, “judging from pictures.”
As you’ll see, the red-eyed panda clearly lacks the trademark black spots on its coat and even around its eyes.
“The panda looked strong and his steps were steady, a sign that the genetic mutation may not have quite impeded its life,” said Li Sheng, a researcher with Peking University and a specialist in bears, who had an opportunity to study the never before seen photos.
The albino mutation inhibits melanin synthesis in multiple animal species. Albinism usually does not affect an animal’s physical structure or function, although it does inhibit their camouflage abilities and makes them more sensitive to sunlight, Li said.
The albino mutation is a recessive gene, only passed along when both parents are carriers. Therefore, if this spotless albino panda paired up with a normal panda, their first generation babies will still be black-and-white. But their babies, carrying the albino gene, will possibly give birth to more all-white pandas IF their partners also carry such genes.