BRITISH COLUMBIA

Rare Albino Salamander Spotted In Vancouver's Stanley Park (PHOTOS)

03/17/2014 07:25 EDT | Updated 03/17/2014 07:59 EDT

A rare type of salamander has been spotted in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

The albino ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii) was found by the Stanley Park Ecology Society on Sunday.

"We were of course very surprised to find it," Robyn Worcester, the Ecology Society's conservation programs manager, told The Huffington Post B.C. in an email.

"When I first saw it I was not totally sure what I was looking at. I have seen lots of ensatina, but never one that was completely white."

albino salamander

At the time of the discovery, Worcester was hosting "Herptile Blitz," a partnership with students of BCIT's Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program where students participate in an eight-month survey to discover which species live in the park.

Worcester has been overseeing the program since 2007 but said this is the first time she has seen an albino salamander. At first they thought the salamander was just leucistic, meaning it has no pigment, but its red eyes led them to determine it was albino.

albino salamander

Worcester said that the albino salamnder is quite rare, and that the finding has been passed on to the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

The amphibian was captured so that workers could weigh and measure it, after which it was returned to under the log where it was spotted.

Worcester emphasized that salamanders are extremely delicate and should not be handled more than necessary, and never directly with hands.

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