FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Real Albino Baby Bat?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a real albino baby bat.
The photo actually shows a felt toy created by an artist.
The image features a person’s hands holding a white, winged creature that some social media users have claimed is a “real baby albino bat.” (RELATED: Does This Image Show A Real Sea Turtle ‘Living In The Waters Of The Atlantic Ocean’?)
Albinism refers to a “group of inherited disorders where there is little or no production of the pigment melanin,” which affects the coloring of the skin, hair and eyes, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is found in humans and a variety of animal species, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine dermatology professor Raymond Boissy explained in an interview with Scientific American.
The creature in the image is not a real bat. Russian artist Anna Yastrezhembovskaya included the picture in an October 2019 Instagram post, with hashtags in the caption indicating it is actually a toy figurine made of felt.
Yastrezhembovskaya has sold various animal figurines of a similar style on the online arts marketplace Etsy. Her Instagram and Facebook accounts feature many other photos of her work. In the summer of 2020, she said on social media that scammers were using photos of the white bat figurine and other products of hers to attract customers before sending them other items instead.
Photos of a real albino bat can be found in a November 2015 BBC News article about an albino bat being spotted in Angus, Scotland. Live Science in 2011 published a picture gallery of different mammals, reptiles and birds with the condition.