Rare white mole found near Carnforth

Mole catcher Gordon Tarney has caught a white mole '“ an extremely rare find.

Wednesday, 22nd February 2017, 10:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:20 am
The rare white mole Gordon Tarney caught at Capernwray.

Gordon found the mole at Capernwray and now intends to have the animal stuffed for posterity.

A retired former pest controller with the Environment Agency, Gordon trapped the mole in a friend’s garden.

“I’ve caught thousands of moles over 50 years and never seen a white one,” he said.

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Gordon Tarney with the rare white mole he caught at Capernwray.

Moles are classed as pests and can cause damage to gardens and fields by digging ‘mole holes’.

Gordon, 71, was asked by a friend to clear the garden of moles and after setting a trap on Sunday, discovered the white one lying in it on Monday.

“The trap kills them straightaway, the animal doesn’t suffer,” said Gordon, who lives in Carnforth.

“People with big gardens and fields ask me to go along to catch moles. I don’t do it as much as I used to.

Gordon Tarney with the rare white mole he caught at Capernwray.

“I’m wondering whether to get it stuffed. I might take it to a taxidermist and keep it.

“It would be a talking point.”

True albino moles are extremely rare and it has been suggested that they occur at a ratio of one in 100,000. The estimated population of moles in the UK is said to be 40 million, equating to 400 albino moles in the UK. The orange colour on this mole’s head may indicate erythrism, a condition where cells producing black pigmentation mutate to cause orange coloured fur that can be variable, or cover the whole mammal.