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Skunk Kits Surprise Five Sisters Zoo

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Caretakers at Five Sisters Zoo in Scotland weren't expecting any baby Skunks— but one turned up in their Skunk exhibit on June 4. Later that day they found an even bigger surprise: the second kit to appear was an albino. They believe that the parents are Stella, one of two regular black and white females, and the father is Strachan, an albino. The albino kit has been examined and identified as a female; the other kit has been a bit more elusive and hasn't been checked out yet. The kits are pictured here at three weeks old.

Life has not been so easy for Strachan. As an albino, his eyes are weak and he has a poor immune system, leaving him vulnerable to common diseases. With his pale coloring, he sunburns easily. The albino kit will encounter the same difficulties. It's likely that the albino Skunks would not have survived in the wild. The normal black and white markings help to warn predators that a foul-smelling fluid may be squirted at them should they get too near.

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Photo credits: Five Sisters Zoo