She is the first of her kind, and unlikely to survive in the wild. Rescuers have saved an albino Colombian jaguarundi kitten, treated her and placed her in a rescue sanctuary.
The all white, pink- eyed kitten was found four hours from an urban area in the Corantioquia region. She is the first albino kitten of her kind found in Colombia. She is now in the Conservation Park of Medellin. The park is her new home because it has the tools needed for her care. It is also a research facility. As a result, authorities dedided it was the best place for her.
Vets decided that the kitten with her snow white coat would not be able to surprise prey or hide from predators. Albinism is a total lack of pigment and is different from white coloration. The girl was suffering from a respiratory infection and malnutrition. It is possible she was abandoned by her mother due to her odd appearance. The vets said .albinism brings with it other health issues. As a result of lack of pigmentation she may be more susceptible to melanoma. True albinism among house cats is extremely rare. According to the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory of the University of California at Davis, only four kittens out of 10,000 studied were albinos. The prevalence among wild cats is not known but is not believed to be higher than 2 percent.
Jaguarundis are unusual cats in any event, often said to look more like weasels or otters. They live in Central and South America. A population of animals descended from captive cats is allegedly found in Florida. There is also a possibility of a population in Texas. Scattered report from New Mexico and Arizona have been noted. Despite the similarity in name jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi) are not related to jaguars. Recent study of cat genetics places them closer genetically to cougars (Puma concolor) and cheetahs (Aci nonyx jubatus). Like cheetahs they cannot fully retract their rear claws.
Colombian wildlife has been in the news recently as the imported hippos released into the country by a powerful drug lord have now become a challenge.