5 Albino Squirrel Facts You Need to Know!

5 Albino Squirrel Facts You Need to Know!

Have you been lucky enough to spot or photograph a rare albino squirrel? There can be confusion in telling the difference between a white squirrel and an albino squirrel. The two look similar, but they are not the same. If you would like to know how to tell the two squirrels apart and learn five nutty albino squirrel facts that are incredible and true, then keep reading!

What is an Albino Squirrel?

Most albino squirrels belong to the eastern grey squirrel species, but there are also albino fox squirrels. Albino squirrels have a condition called Albinism.

Albinism is an inherited genetic mutation that suppresses the production of melanin. The hormone melanin creates pigment, which gives color to hair, scales, eyes, skin, and fur.

albino squirrel facts - baby albino squirrel
Baby Albino Squirrel
albino squirrel facts - adult albino squirrel
Adult Albino Squirrel

Characteristics of an Albino Squirrel?

Eyes

An albino’s lack of pigment often causes the eyes to develop abnormally, leading to many eye problems. Their inability to use both eyes together, called binocular vision, results in poor depth perception.

The eyes are blue or red. The eyes appear red because the blood vessels are close to the surface because there is no pigment in the iris.

fur

The squirrel has white snow-like fur.

Survival

  • An albino squirrel is at a disadvantage in the wild. Their uncamouflaged appearance makes hiding from predators, like hawks, difficult and significantly reduces their lifespan.
  • Albino squirrels have no protection from the sun.
  • They are often outcasted by their family and become loners, which also decreases their chance of survival.

Differences Between a White Squirrel and an Albino Squirrel

There are two types of white squirrels, leucistic and albino.

A leucistic squirrel has decreased pigment production, and its fur can appear washed out, diluted, all-white, or only on the part of its body. The eyes are dark brown or black.

An albino squirrel has white fur and pink or blue eyes.

Albino Squirrel Facts - leucistic squirrel
Smudge is a leucistic squirrel who has black eyes. Courtesy of @pipthebabysquirrel on IG
Albino Squirrel Facts - leucistic squirrel
Lucky is a leucistic squirrel who is the father to Smudge and has black eyes. Courtesy of @pipthebabysquirrel IG

5 Albino Squirrel Facts

Fact #1

Albino squirrels have been a symbol of peace since the early 14th Century. Native Americans released a white squirrel onto the battlefield to represent a surrender to their opponent.

Most Native American tribes believe hunting or killing an albino animal is taboo and is both punished and cursed. A hunter’s punishment for killing an albino squirrel is the loss of all hunting privileges.

Fact # 2

An albino squirrel has a special place in mythology, and it symbolizes that change is coming and urges you to prepare for it.

Fact # 3

Gene mutations resulAlbinismAlbinism must come from both parents, which in general is a rare phenomenon. The squirrel appears normal in color if the gene only comes from one parent.

Fact # 4

About one in a million gray squirrels are affected by Albinism.

albino squirrel facts - adult albino squirrel perched on feeder ledge
Adult Albino Squirrel
albino squirrel facts - albino adult standing upright
Female Adult Albino Squirrel

Fact # 5

The town of Olney, Illinois, claims to be the home to the albino white squirrels. Squirrels in Olney benefit from protection against cats, motorists, and kidnappers.

The police officers wear squirrel badges and enforce an ordinance stating outside cats must wear a leash at all times. All squirrels have the right-of-way on streets and sidewalks. A person that harms a squirrel faces a criminal offense carrying a $750 fine.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, five nutty albino squirrel facts that are incredible and true. If you have photographed a white or albino squirrel, let us know and submit your squirrel photos to appear on the website. Take a look at Monte, the original Alabama Albino squirrel that made a special appearance for a news crew. He sure is a cute bushy-tailed critter.

6 thoughts on “5 Albino Squirrel Facts You Need to Know!”

  1. It is so nice to know the difference between a white & albino squirrel. I thought all this time they were both the same. Always fun to read this magazine.

    Reply
  2. Yeah i just today found out about albino squirrels is because today when I was driving home I spotted a white squirrel and I didn’t even know about white sqiurlls or albinos until then and I don’t know if the one I saw was albino, or just a white squirrel because I didn’t get to get a good look at it before it ran away.
    still amazing to see a squirrel like that though.

    Reply
    • Hi Lia,
      I’m glad you’re enjoying our article on albino squirrels! Yes, Albino squirrels are rare and we’re happy to hear that you were able to spot a white one. No matter a white squirrel or albino, consider yourself lucky to spot one. What a great day indeed. We hope you have an opportunity to have another sighting soon. Let us know if you do!
      Maddy

      Reply

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