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Ohelemapit

More sightings of rare albino squirrel

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THE Observer has been handed new photographs of the albino squirrel at Draycote Water.

We reported earlier this week how the rare little creature - believed just one of 50 in the UK - was spotted last weekend by Nina Mold, who lives in Swinford. She saw it scurrying around near the woodland walk.

And now Severn Trent Water ranger and amateur photographer Thomas Crawford, and Stephen Batt, chairman of the Rugby group of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust have also told us of their sightings.

Mr Crawford told us: "We’ve been all of a flutter since the ghostly white squirrel was spotted at Draycote Water.

"Visitors were reporting sightings of the albino rodent, but as with spectres it was proving difficult to capture on camera.

"Because of its white colouring it does standout against the autumnal colours here, but it moves so fast, photographing it was very difficult."

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Poor thing stands no chance of surviving in the wild; hope it's someone's pet.

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Thanks for the story. Locally (Northern New England), we've had an albino gray squirrel (confirmed by humane trapping, followed promptly by release unharmed) for the past few years. She is a neighborhood celebrity.

White is within the heritable range of gray squirrel coats (not her situation), so while being white does make camouflage more difficult on average, there are viable instances. Up here, there is snow cover for three or more months a year, against which she is invisible. She may also enjoy a thermal advantage over other grays during our hottest months. She is individually skilled at finding camoufalage (like cats, all squirrels are gray in low light, and there are natural features on trees, like bark scars, against which she blends in, presumably something she does consciously.)

Albinism does have some implications for eyesight, which is critical for squirrels. So far, though, she seems able to perform visual feats as dexterously as her friends. Speaking of which, she seems to be well accepted by other grays.

Realistically, any animal that shares an area of human habitation enjoys an advantage if the surrounding humans are symapthetic. While we apes are mindful that there are nutjobs who would be a threat to our neighbor, most of us here are very fond of her. And, of course, she is highly visible when she crosses the paved roadways - a year-round survival advantage wherever humans roam, judging by the roadkill toll of her darker cousins.

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It problem it seems to me would be the business of not being seen by some overflying hawk or similar predator.

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We have plenty of hawks hereabouts (many currently in migration). Hawks have the same problems with gray squirrels that cats do: grays can and do defend themselves. Against attackers of comparable body weight, the gray may not win, but might well take their attacker with them, leaving a feast for crows.

Dogs (a typical feature of a human habitations) seem to be the major predatory threat around here, after apes in automobiles. The local white squirrel has been here long enough that I have some idea of her territory, and it seems notably poor in unrestrained dogs. Smart gal, and that may be the bottom line: smart can make up for a lot.

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Poor thing stands no chance of surviving in the wild; hope it's someone's pet.

In the wild you do not hear "oh what a cutey", basically translated it means "dinner".

Lets hope it is someones pet and they take very good care of it.

Got to love this Mr Crawford though: ghostly and spectre? its not dead! although in the 1st photo it could be.

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Nice, I like squirrels especially the red ones. Would be great to see a white one too.

Here's another white squirrel -

http://www.unexplain...howtopic=255051

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Wait till the grey squirrels get a butchers of these white ones, it will be multicultural warfare!

Edited by freetoroam

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I wasn't aware albino squirrels were all that rare, relatively speaking, we have one running around our campus. If i can think of it next time i see it I'll get a picture. Thing seems to live off of corn chips and cigarette buts

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I wasn't aware albino squirrels were all that rare, relatively speaking, we have one running around our campus. If i can think of it next time i see it I'll get a picture. Thing seems to live off of corn chips and cigarette buts

Nice to see the next generation are taking care of the wildlife.

roll-eyes.gif?w=500

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It lives on the campus, it gets into trash.

I'm sure some people feed it stuff too. They really are to the point that they aren't afraid of people.

Saw one climbing on a girl who fell asleep on the yard.

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Fell sleep in the yard? corn chips and cigarette butts? those squirrels must be loving it there. :w00t:

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They seem quite happy from what I've seen. It was some hippy chick from what I can tell.

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