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Rare White Puma Cub Born in Nicaragua

cougar
Portrait of a cougar, mountain lion, puma, panther, striking a pose on a fallen tree, Winter scene in the woods, wildlife America. Image via depositphotos.com

When we think of a Puma, Cougar, or Mountain Lion – they have many names! – we think of their brownish-yellow or greyish-red coats. Making the pure white puma cub born in the Thomas Belt Zoo in Nicaragua all the more special! Join us in learning more about this special albino cub through this article. 

Meet the White Puma Cub

The snow-white albino puma cub you need to see”, Source: YouTube, Uploaded: CBC Kids News channel.

A couple of months ago, a Puma mother gave birth to three cubs, two of them with brownish-red coats covered in spots and exactly what you would expect Puma cubs to look like! The third cub, however, had a surprising appearance. Itzae, meaning “gift from God” was born with a snow-white coat, pink nose, and light eyes. Surprising everyone working at the Thomas Belt Zoo in Nicaragua, yet her mother loves her all the same!

The Reason Behind the Rare Coloring

cougar kitten
Image by Svehlik via Depositphotos

Itzae’s unique appearance is due to a genetic mutation called albinism. Much the same as when this occurs in humans, animals born with albinism lack the pigments that give them color. This causes their skin, fur, and eyes to appear white and pale. Giving them their striking white appearance! 

How Common are Albino Pumas? 

Cougar
Puma carrying cub in the mouth. Image by DesignPicsInc via depositphotos.com

Itzae is the first albino Puma cub to be born in Nicaragua and according to the veterinarian at the Thomas Belt Zoo, only one of four to be born in captivity in the world. Due to albinism being a recessive gene that both parents have to carry, and carry over, for offspring to be born with this genetic mutation, it is extremely rare. And albino pumas are rarely seen in the wild. 

Challenges 

puma
Portrait of Beautiful Puma in autumn forest. American cougar – mountain lion, striking pose, scene in the woods, wildlife America. Image by Baranov_Evgenii via depositphotos.com

Although Itzae is eating, healthy, and adorable, her mutation makes her vulnerable to sunlight due to her lack of pigmentation. Even her eyes are exceptionally sensitive to the sun’s UV rays, meaning that she needs a lot of special care. Luckily she is healthy and lives in a place where she can be helped and cared for. Albino animals in the wild are not that lucky, they are vulnerable to the sun’s exposure and can’t camouflage like their other family members. Their white fur exposes them to predators in their habitats and even makes hunting difficult. 

Final Say on the White Puma Cub

cougar
A Cougar Sits Under a Tree For a Rest. Image via depositphotos.com

The rarety of Itzae the albino Puma cub has brought a lot of attention to her and the zoo she lives in. With people all over the world coming to have a look at her rare beauty! This white puma cub feels no different from her siblings, and her mother loves her all the same. We are excited to see her grow up and wish her many healthy years!

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