Watch as East Lothian man captures video footage of rare albino squirrel while out walking his dog
and live on Freeview channel 276
A rare albino squirrel has been spotted scampering around in East Lothian, much to the surprise of one man and his dog.
Local resident Dominic Kelly photographed and took video footage of the rodent while walking his dog in Gullane at the weekend.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Dominic said: “Initially, It was my dog that spotted it, but luckily he didn’t chase it away. It was only when I got closer I realised it was a squirrel, it was really striking and unusual. It’s amazing to see such a rare animal on my daily walk. Hopefully the little chap stays a resident in the local area and more people can spot him.”
Albino squirrels are a very rare phenomenon of nature, and reports from wildlife organisations have said that only about 50 such creatures are thought to live in the UK. It is believed that only one in every 100,000 of the animals are born with the genetic condition.
A spokesperson from whitesquirrels.co.uk said: “There are two types of genetic differences that cause the white fur, the spokesperson said. These is albinism, a condition caused by an absence of melanin and making the squirrel identifiable by its red eyes, and leucism, which causes squirrels to have a partial loss of pigmentation affecting the skin and hair but not its eyes.”
The odds of seeing an albino squirrel are said to be one in 100,000. The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) has said that albino animals can be more vulnerable to predators because they stand out in the environment and have poorer eyesight. The SWT encourage people to report sightings of squirrels to scottishsquirrels.org.uk