Beautiful Blonde hair. Great Big rack. Looks absolutely majestic in pictures. No, I’m not talking about Dolly Parton. I’m talking about this really rare moose recently spotted in Alaska. According to People Magazine, blonde moose don’t necessarily have more fun. However, as someone with a wildlife biology degree, I think that hypothesis might need to be looked into a little more. For science.
Pictures of the moose were first picked up by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. There are an estimated 175,000 – 200,000 moose in Alaska. None of them look anywhere near as spectacular as this one though. The khaki-colored moose has already been nicknamed “Big Blondie” by fans on social media. Photos of the moose were first posted to Facebook on January 13th. The images quickly went viral, racking up thousands of comments, shares, and reactions.
Mike Taras, a Wildlife Education and Outreach Specialist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, seems to be surprised pictures of the blonde moose got so much traction. He believes it’s because of “a combination of its unique color and the fact that maybe other people around the country aren’t used to seeing moose as we are around here.”
Stunning Red-Tailed Hawk Is Almost All White
Another leucistic animal recently made headlines for its majestic appearance too. Pictures of a leucistic red-tailed hawk sitting on a fencepost in Missouri got the attention of wildlife fanatics earlier this month. The stunning red-tailed hawk lacks that signature red tail due to its genetic condition. Instead, the bird is nearly all-white, which is typically an indicator of a leucistic or piebald condition rather than albinism.
The Missouri Department of Conservation provided some clarity on the difference between albinism and leucism. “Leucism is a genetic anomaly in which an animal has a partial loss of pigmentation. Albinism involves the total absence of melanin – which is the substance in a body that produces skin pigmentation,” their caption read. Leucism and albinism are often confused, as are both with piebald animals.
The photo was taken by Steve Jaeger. The gorgeous hawk still has the species’ signature black beak as well as several pigmented back and tail feathers. The primary and secondary flight feathers, however, are stark white. So are the crown and neck feathers, giving the bird a somewhat haunting “ghost hawk” appearance.
In the case of this red-tailed hawk, leucism is the culprit, not albinism. The giveaways are those black feathers, their beak tip, and the yellow of her legs.
All White Bald Eagle Might Be More Majestic Than The Moose
An all-white bald eagle photographed at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma is one of the most majestic animals the world has ever seen. The picture was taken in February of 2022. While America’s birds typically have all-white feathers adorning their heads, this eagle’s entire paint job is clean white. It just might be even more magnificent than the all-white moose.