The Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Warren County, New Jersey rescued a litter of six baby squirrels born in an attic.
Since 2008, Antler Ridge had rescued over 1,600 Eastern Grey squirrels. Their mission is to treat and care for injured or orphaned wild animals. The animals are returned to the wild after being rehabilitated. But they were stunned when they found out that one of the squirrels in the litter, was a white squirrel.
They named the squirrel, Filbert. Linda DeLorenzo, a wildlife rehabilitator, said at first, they weren’t sure if he was an albino or if he was leucistic (a partial loss pigment).
A squirrel with leucism will have dark eyes, but an albino will have red eyes. It isn’t uncommon for squirrels to be born with light colored fur, it changes as they grow.
Filbert’s coat remained white as he grew and when Filbert was four weeks old, his eyes opened, and everyone knew Filbert was an albino.
The litter was released into the wild at twelve weeks old, everyone but Filbert. The staff said Filbert would find life in the wild difficult because he didn’t have any way to remain hidden from predators because of his color.
Filbert will remain at Antler Ridge and teach students about albinism and squirrels. Albino squirrels are extremely rare only 1 out of every 100,000 is albino.
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