A rare albino porcupine lounging on the lawn of the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport is drawing national attention after the museum asked for help identifying the animal on Facebook.

True albino porcupines occur in about one of every 10,000 births, according to Missouri Department of Conservation researchers who work with porcupines.

The museum says the “white ball of fluff” was seen on the museum’s front lawn Tuesday, and visitors and volunteers initially believed the animal was a skunk from a distance.

“We all thought it was an albino skunk because it was so fluffy,” Katie Orlando, executive director of the Seashore Trolley Museum said.

One museum volunteer was brave enough to venture closer to snap a picture of the animal. The museum posted the photos and asked for the public’s help in identifying the critter.

“We have a resident roaming turkey, woodchuck family, snapping turtle, bear, and now this little guy! We don’t know what he is … our first guess was albino skunk, but now we are thinking albino groundhog. Can any of our followers help us identify the newest addition to #SeashoreWildlifeSanctuary?” the museum’s caption said.


Shortly after posting, Facebook users identified the mystery animal as an albino porcupine. Commenters mentioned that the porcupine is a baby because its quills have not yet hardened.

Some pointed out the animal’s similarity to a “tribble” – a fictional alien species featured in an episode of the original “Star Trek” television series.

This is not the first sighting of an albino porcupine in southern Maine. In December, a hunter spotted an albino porcupine in the Windham woods.

The porcupine is welcomed on the museum’s grounds, Orlando said, and the museum has asked for name suggestions on Facebook. Front-runners include Tribble, after the Star Trek species, and Herb, for the volunteer who first spotted the animal.

The “fluffy ball of white” has become a Facebook star and is believed to be a young porcupine with quills that have not yet hardened. Photo courtesy of the Seashore Trolley Museum

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