A rare blonde raccoon has been a frequent visitor at an Iowa home. (Krystal Folsom)
HORNICK, Iowa - A rare, blonde raccoon has been spotted in Iowa and has been a frequent visitor for one homeowner.
Krystal Folsom of Hornick said the unique-looking animal has visited her home more than a dozen times within the past three weeks.
Folsom said she lives in the country and often puts out feed for the birds, which also attracts raccoons.
But one time she noticed one of the raccoons stood out.
"I looked out on the tray feeder and I thought, 'My that's a really light-colored gray raccoon,'" Folsom told FOX Television Stations.
After looking at some more surveillance footage, she thought the light-colored raccoon was actually an albino. Folsom said she did some research and learned the raccoon wasn't an albino but a blonde, a rarity in the animal kingdom.
"It really shocked me because I had never seen that. I'd never heard of them," she added.
Folsom then sent pictures and videos to family and friends, and one encouraged her to share the discovery with a local news outlet. She did, and her video and pictures ended up going viral.
"It just really boggles my mind," she continued. "I guess I've always heard the term ‘going viral.’ I had no intention of any of that ever happening."
Folsom said she even nicknamed the critter "Blondie," believing the animal is a male.
"I hope it sticks around," she said, adding that she worries that Blondie might stand out to predators since he can't camouflage like the rest of his species.
According to Advanced Wildlife and Pest Control, raccoons are born blonde if they have too little melanin, which is due to the right combination of recessive genes. They also typically have poor eyesight.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.