What is an Albino Squirrel?
Squirrels are adorable rodents and exist as different kinds of species in various parts of the world. These species vary in size, physical features and visibly in color. It is from this background that we get to understand the albino squirrel otherwise known as the white squirrel.
Facts on the albino squirrels
Even though the terms are used interchangeably, the white squirrel is not the same as the albino squirrel. The albino squirrel has white fur with pink eyes and a crystal blue iris whereas the white squirrel has white fur with dark brown or beady black eyes. Genuine albino animals have no pigmentation whatsoever as they lack melanin in the skin.
Albinism is a condition caused by mutation of genes to deprive the body of any pigmentation, notably melanin. Melanin is responsible for color on the fur and eyes. Therefore the albino squirrel’s appearance, just like that of human albinos, is due to the absence of melanin in their genetic structure.
Squirrels, albino squirrels for that matter, are not the ideal pets at least according to UK’s Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 which prohibits the release of captured wild squirrels. In the squirrel rich areas of America, it is a criminal offence not to stop for squirrels crossing a street. In fact, this offence attracts fines as heavy as $750.
Rarity of albino squirrels
The albino squirrels are a very rare species. In fact, wildlife experts reveal that one can expect one albino squirrel birth out of 100, 000 squirrel births. The population of this rare species is a handful. This is partly because of one reason. In the event of an albino birth, the squirrel lives a life of difficulty as its vision is impaired leading to serious repeated falls eventually resulting to deaths.
Sighting this cute animal is a special thing. However, one can see white squirrels in the United States in Olney in Illinois, Kenton in Tennessee, Brevardand Charlotte in North Carolina and Exeter in Ontario Canada. However, Surrey in the UK has positive reports of the albino squirrel.
Sale of albino squirrels
Just as they are rare, albino squirrels are hardly ever for sale; partly because their population is too small to allow it. As a means of compensation for this rarity, works of art on this subject is common. You may find sculptures, paintings, printouts, jewelry and taxidermy pieces of the albino squirrel being sold online and in retail stores.