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Home   Folkestone   News   Article

Animal lover Sam Chalmers spots rare albino squirrel in Hawkinge garden

18 June 2014
by Suz Elvey

An albino squirrel is supposed to be a rare phenomenon - with just 25 of Britain's 2.5m squirrels being pure white.

But it seems some eagle-eyed nature lovers in Kent are proving this theory wrong - as you've been squirrelling away some fantastic pictures.

Our hunt for the elusive beast was started when Sam Chalmers, who lives on Winter Drive, in Hawkinge, saw one of the creatures scampering up and down her trees and started feeding it.

Albino squirrel spotted in Hawkinge

Albino squirrel spotted in Hawkinge

The animal lover said: “I have seen him on two different occasions now. He must live near my house. We have been leaving monkey nuts out for him and they go every day.

“He came down the tree to have a drink of water from a puddle, took a couple of nuts from the birdfeeder and went off after about 10 minutes.”

But after we ran the story earlier today we've had more albino fans come out of the woodwork.

John Humble has a pair of albino squirrels that have been visiting his New Barn garden for a year

John Humble has a pair of albino squirrels that have been visiting his New Barn garden for a year

John Humble said the pure white squirrels were regular visitors to his New Barn home.

He said: "I have a pair that visit my garden daily. They have been here over a year now.

"I'm off to the Isle of Wight tomorrow to hopefully photograph red squirrels."
 
Steffi Toulson said she was also graced with visits from the beasts.
 
She said: "We also spot an albino squirrel regularly in our garden in Hartley.
 
 
Steffi Toulson has seen a squirrel about 10 times in her Hartley garden

Steffi Toulson has seen a squirrel about 10 times in her Hartley garden

 
"We've spotted it about 10 times at least over the last year now."

Albino squirrels are common greys that have been affected by albinism, a rare genetic mutation that means they have little or no pigmentation in their skin, fur or eyes, resulting in white fur and pink eyes.

Roughly one in 100,000 squirrels are affected, meaning about 25 of Britain’s 2.5m squirrels are white.

Despite their rarity there have been a few sightings in Kent recently.

The squirrel has been seen eating nuts and drinking from a puddle

The squirrel has been seen eating nuts and drinking from a puddle

Grandfather Reg Bennett spotted one in his garden in Longfield, near Dartford.

Meanwhile in Meopham, near Gravesend, an albino squirrel helped itself to food from a bird table in Nigel Parris’ garden.

An albino squirrel is also a regular visitor to Wildwood animal park near Herne Bay.

One of the albinos was spotted at Wildwood. Picture Dave Butcher

One of the albinos was spotted at Wildwood. Picture: Dave Butcher

An albino squirrel  in Longfield

An albino squirrel in Longfield

Sam posted a photo of the albino squirrel on website Wildlife Sightings UK - www.wildlifesightings.co.uk - where more than 40,000 people share pictures of unusual or attractive animals and birds.

Have you spotted an unusual or rare animal? Send photos marked up #bestpic to multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk and you could win £100.

Click here for more news from Folkestone.

Click here for more news from around the county.

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