An incredibly rare white squirrel has been pictured in Royal Deeside, Scotland.
According to reports, experts believe the squirrel is actually of the red variety, rather than the grey, due to the hairy tufts that can be visibly seen on the creature’s ears.
The rare picture was taken by conservationists who are working in the area to protect the red squirrel population in the north east of Scotland.
They said they would now be working to discover whether the squirrel was a ‘true albino’ with red eyes.
Conservationist Dr Gwen Maggs told BBC News:
We will set up some remote cameras to try and get some better pictures with a clear view of its eyes.
In any event, this is a rare and exciting discovery.
Alex Stuart, co-ordinator of the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, added:
Partly white animals, like sparrows, crows, blackbirds and even hedgehogs do appear from time to time, but these are not true albinos.
Sightings like this really demonstrate the value of keeping your eyes and ears open – there’s lots of other amazing wildlife to be seen and heard out there as well as white red squirrels.
Meanwhile, a red squirrel was spotted in Aberdeen earlier in the year, which was said to be the first to have been seen so close to the city centre in decades.
The squirrel was spotted by Gina Ganzenmueller, who managed to snap a picture of the rare creature in her back garden, north of Duthie Park, near the River Dee.
She told BBC News:
After years of grey squirrel sightings I’ve finally seen a red squirrel in my back garden.
I was so excited, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I only have a small garden, but Duthie Park is not far away.
Grey squirrels were first introduced to Aberdeen back in the 1970s and they quickly spread through the city and into the surrounding areas.
Ever since, Aberdeenshire’s native red squirrel population has continued to decline due to competition for food and living space.
Dr Gwen Maggs, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Conservation Officer for North East Scotland, said:
The project has been working along the River Dee for 10 years, with help from dedicated volunteers participating in our trap-loan scheme.
As a result of this targeted grey squirrel control red squirrels have gradually returned to North Deeside, with populations establishing through Peterculter, Milltimber, Bieldside and Cults. In 2017 red squirrels arrived at Robert Gordon University.
With healthy populations already in Hazlehead and Seaton Park, we hope that they will soon return to Duthie Park for everyone to enjoy.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.