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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

White as a ghost: The spooky albino squirrel who has made a graveyard his favourite haunt


The graveyard I call my home: The squirrel has chosen a rather unusual place to call home, however it is strangely fitting with his ghostly white coat

A ghostly, white figure has been spotted moving silently between the gravestones in a cemetery in Kent.

It could be a scene from a horror film but in actual fact the red eyes, sharp claws and pure white body belongs to an albino squirrel, that has happily set up home in Margate cemetery.

Despite the rather chill-inducing scene, the little creature is far from scary.

The little fella almost manages to look scary in this picture as he spots the photographer trying to get an action shot

Wildlife photographer, Tony Flashman snapped the critter, who is often delighting locals and visitors to the site.

Mr Flashman said: 'Many people travel for miles to get a glimpse of this very unusual animal.'

However, it seems the rare creature is the only one. There are claims that he has a little friend and that there are in fact two albino squirrels living in the cemetery.

Perhaps the other one comes out to play at night, when there is a full moon.

Albinism in squirrels occurs at a rate of one per 100,000 births.

The rare genetic defect occurs in both human and animals due to a lack of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

Local legend has it that this is not the only albino squirrel in the village as some has spotted two of them jumping from tree to tree in the area

Albino animals have always fascinated humans and when discovered in the wild are often put in zoo's or circuses.

Famous Albino animal attractions include Snowflake the Gorilla who had thousands of visitors come an pay their respects to his home in Barcelona Zoo when it was announced he had terminal skin cancer.

It is rare that albino animals in the wild survive as their fur make them stand out and proves difficult to camouflage.

The rare albino squirrel stops to check his territory at the cemetery in Margate, Kent where he lives

The squirrel pauses in his hunt for food. The survival of wild albino animals is unfortunately quite low as they find it hard to camouflage themselves against foes



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