Albino squirrel nicknamed Snow White scampers through Kent garden
That’s nuts! Incredibly rare albino squirrel nicknamed Snow White scampers through Kent homeowner’s garden in search of food
- Scene caught on camera by homeowner Sabrina near Faversham, in Kent
- Squirrel appeared in March last year and often returns for peanuts and bird feed
- It is seen running along Sabrina’s patio before it jumps onto a blue plant pot
This is the amazing moment an extremely rare albino squirrel is spotted scampering through a UK garden.
The scene was caught on camera by homeowner Sabrina near Faversham, in Kent, last week.
The squirrel, nicknamed Snow White, first appeared in March last year and now regularly returns to feast on peanuts and bird feed.
This is the amazing moment an extremely rare albino squirrel is spotted scampering through a UK garden. The scene was caught on camera by homeowner Sabrina near Faversham, in Kent, last week
In the video, the squirrel, of which there are thought to be only 50 in the UK, is seen running along a patio and jumping onto a blue plant pot.
It stops to sniff the ground and then appears to eat something before it continues on its journey.
Sabrina told MailOnline: ‘She comes regularly now. We leave her some peanuts and bird feed, she looks very happy, running around and up the trees.
‘It’s a very quiet area, I guess she likes it here. There are lots of trees here, they run quite fast up the the trees. She is so incredibly delicate.’
The squirrel, nicknamed Snow White, first appeared in March last year and now regularly returns to feast on peanuts and bird feed. In the video, the squirrel stopped and appeared to eat something
The homeowner added that she is ‘quite small’ compared to the far more common grey squirrel.
‘We hope she is going to stick around,’ Sabrina added.
‘We see wild rabbits, guinea fowls. Obviously lots of pheasants. Snow White is unique.’
Why are albino squirrels so rare? One in 100,000 creatures sport white fur due to lack of melanin
Albinism, a genetic condition which reduces the amount of melanin a creature has, can dramatically reduce an animal’s chance of survival in the wild for a number of reasons.
The condition leaves animals with white skin or fur because of a lack of pigment. This is particularly problematic for creatures such as squirrels who need to blend in with tree trunks and leaves to avoid predators.
Another problem faced by creatures with albinism is poor eyesight. The signature pink or reddish eyes albinos have have usually developed abnormally, and so they often struggle with depth perception and focussing on objects.
The increased difficulty in surviving on top of the fact that albinism occurs in just 1 in 100,000 mammal births means that albino squirrels are incredibly rare.
However, it is important to draw a distinction between albino squirrels and the far rarer white squirrel.
White squirrels suffer from leucism, a mutated gene which turns their skin white but leaves their eyes black, meaning they do not suffer with any of the eye problems albinos have.
There are around five million grey squirrels in Britain, but experts believe there are fewer than one in a million that have leucism.
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