Whitey the Squirrel
by Jayne Barlow
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We were fortunate enough to have an incredibly rare Albino squirrel living in Blackheath for many years. Whitey, as she was known by villagers, lived for many years hidden in the trees around the crossroads, and later in the trees behind the cricket pavilion.
Villagers who knew of her existence kept very quiet about her as they were nervous that it would attract the wrong attention, and she would not be able to live safely.
Only 1 in every 100,000 squirrels are Albino, so Whitey was very special. Albino squirrels suffer from a serious of health issues caused by the albinism.. They have pink or red eyes, their sight suffers from varying forms of not being able to focus on objects and a problem with depth perception. This can make life difficult for these amazing creatures.
Whitey was often spotted leaping from tree to tree, she did not seem to have a problem with her sight.
Late every afternoon she would come down from her perch and take the nuts left on a bird table for her consumption by Brigadier Hume and his wife Jane, they seemed to have adopted her and were very fond of her.
In around 2015 there was much excitement, Whitey had a baby and it too was Albino. It was an even more rare sight to behold, Whitey daily brought her baby down to the bird-table to feed.
Not long after this amazing event, sadly Whitey was found dead. It was confirmed by a vet that she had some sort of growth on her and this was probably the cause. Her little baby was never spotted again, probably being down to the fact that it was too young to survive on its own.
For those that had been fortunate enough to spot her it was a moment to remember forever.