Kent

Albino squirrel discovered at Wildwood park, Herne Bay

Albino squirrel
Image caption Albino squirrels are common grey squirrels born with little or no pigmentation in their fur, skin or eyes

A rare, pure white, albino squirrel has been discovered at a wildlife park near Herne Bay.

There have been several sightings of the squirrel around the wild boar and wild horse enclosures at Wildwood, in Herne Common.

Albino squirrels are a rare oddity of nature, with the condition being thought by wildlife experts to affect just one in 100,000 animals.

Their lack of camouflage makes them stand out and so they are easy prey.

Many albino squirrels are taken by predators at an early age, giving them less chance to breed.

Albinism is caused by a rare genetic mutation which limits the amount of a pigment called melanin that the body produces.

Animals with albinism are born with little or no pigmentation in their fur, skin or eyes, resulting in very pale or pure white fur and often distinctive pink eyes.

Wildwood is also home to pure black squirrels, which are caused by melanism - the opposite of albinism.

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