Albino Squirrel Sighting Is the Latest Rare Find in Maine
A central Maine couple got a rare present on Christmas day: an albino gray squirrel sighting.
According to the Bangor Daily News, Doug and Christine Chadwick of Burnham caught the little white squirrel eating off the couple's bird feeder. The Chadwicks quickly documented the visit, in case it was never seen again. (You can see the images over at the BDN right here.)
However, this would not be a chance encounter. The Chadwicks told the Bangor Daily News that the albino squirrel has been back daily, usually with many standard-looking gray squirrels.
There's no mystery as to if the little guy is a true albino. As the Chadwicks pointed out in the article, the squirrel in question has pink eyes, which is one of the major characteristics of an albino squirrel.
The Bangor Daily News spoke with a biologist from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, who essentially confirms it's a true albino squirrel. He also talks about the disadvantages of being albino.
Sure, it's all fine and dandy when the snow is here, but for the majority of the year the squirrel sticks out like a sore thumb. Not ideal for an animal considered "prey."
Nevertheless, this is still an extraordinary find. It is estimated that the chances of an albino gray squirrel are 1 and 100,000, according to the BDN. For the Chadwicks to not only witness it by chance but to have it consistently come back is simply fascinating.
Even more incredible is the fact that this isn't even the rarest find in Maine this year.
Back in February, a Boston-based fisherman amazingly caught an albino lobster. According to CBS Boston, the chances of ever seeing an albino lobster are 1 and 100 million.
Not as extreme, but still rare, numerous Maine families came across an albino porcupine. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, there's about a 1 and 10,000 chance of a porcupine being born albino.
How wonderfully lucky we are to have a chance to see wildlife enigmas. The world is full of perfectly imperfect creatures. The more we can witness and learn from them, the more we may be able to understand our ecosystem.