This is a picture of a 1 in a 100,000 “white as a sheet of paper” kangaroo photographed in the wild in Australia by Sarah Kinnon in the Queensland outback.
There are two ways it seems that kangaroos can be white: albino or due to a genetic mutation called leucism. They believe that the latter applies in this instance although the picture was taken at a distance and therefore, they can’t verify that the kangaroo in question has pink eyes. Pink eyes are a mark of an albino animal.
Sarah Kinnon is a university lecturer and she is confident that she saw the same white kangaroo a few months ago. At that time, she did not have a camera at the ready but was fortunate to be able to capture the creature this time. The leucistic kangaroo was spotted at Longreach. Below is a bit about leucism.
Leucism describes a range of conditions which results in the partial loss of pigmentation in the animal resulting in a white or pale coloration of the skin or hair. It also applies to feathers or scales or cuticles but not the eyes. It is sometimes written ‘leukism’ and sometimes used to describe the appearance of an animal i.e. the phenotype, which demonstrates the effect of defects in pigment cells. Sometimes the entire surface of the animal is affected or there are patches on the body which lack pigmentation.
I can remember an article I wrote about a cat which was covered in white and black blotches. This is a black cat with leucism. The link below takes you to that page. The specific condition is called feline vitiligo or leukoderma (see picture above).