TORONTO - Finding an albino raccoon is rare, but the chances of finding three in a litter of four? Try odds of one in 10 million.
That's just what happened on Thursday at a house near Victoria Park and Finch Aves.
"We found one in the garage and we didn't know what it was. Some neighbours thought it was a bear or a fox. I thought it was a rat. But then we found a black one and knew it was a raccoon," said Jay Zheng, who lives at the house.
"I confirmed this on the Internet and then called the humane society, but they don't do anything because it is wild life. After we discovered the babies, which are really cute even though we were worried about rabies, the mother went into the attic."
That is when Brad Gates, of Gates Wildlife Control, entered the picture.
"I have only seen an albino raccoon twice in my 27-year history and then the chances are one in 500,000. To find three in a litter of four is one in 10 million," Gates said.
"When I arrived on site I discovered a normal baby raccoon and an albino one and then I went into the attic and discovered two more albino babies about six weeks in age,"
Gates put the babies in a release box on the roof which will force the mother to relocate them.
Putting the animals in a shelter isn't the answer, Gates said.
"That is no life. Wild animals are meant to be in the wild. Shelters are for injured or orphaned animals," he said.
To stop the spread of rabies, wildlife can't be relocated more than a kilometre from where they have been found.
"If this family was moved the mother would have to fight off resident racoons. They would be toast the first night. It is best to let her live in an area she is familiar with. It is the best solution because here she knows where to find food and another den," he said.
"The reason we leave them on site is so she can pick up her babies one by one and relocate them."