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Rare albino squirrel spotted in same spot as legendary resident

Albino squirrels are something of a nature anomaly, with just one in every 100,000 of the animals born with the genetic condition. To spot one, let alone two, in the same spot, is something of a phenomenon, so imagine Gomshall resident David Stretch's shock at spotting a white squirrel in the same Dorking churchyard that famed town squirrel Albi was seen in 2009.

The creatures are hard to miss with their bright pink eyes due to no melanin pigment in their skin, and fluffy snow white fur
The creatures are hard to miss with their bright pink eyes due to no melanin pigment in their skin, and fluffy snow white fur© David Stretch

Albi was a local celebrity in the town, and could often be spotted prancing around the St Martin's Churchyard prior to sadly being killed by a car in October 2009, Surrey Live reports. Not many other albino squirrels have been seen in the area since.

The creatures are hard to miss with their bright pink eyes due to no melanin pigment in their skin, and fluffy snow white fur. David said it was "such an amazing sight to see", before adding that his wife and daughter even saw Albi "a few years back before he sadly died."

He spotted the new albino squirrel cutting through the courtyard, and saw it "happily eating and husking through the trees."

In April 2021, another white squirrel was spotted in exactly the same place, with Dorking resident Paul Smart telling SurreyLive at the time: “It was the first time I had ever seen an albino squirrel. I was just on an Easter walk and had cut back through the church grounds, where there are often plenty of grey squirrels. The white squirrel was just playing with the grey ones behind the church under the trees.

“I have showed the pictures to my friends and family but no one else has ever seen an albino squirrel either - it’s so rare. I did a bit of research when I got home and apparently there are only about 50 in the UK.”

Reference: Story by Lauren Cole-Lomas & Nathan Russell • 19 Feb

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