Purple Squirrel Puzzling People in Pennsylvania Gets Released Back Into the Wild

Dan Evon

After puzzling people Pennsylvania for a few days, the purple squirrel has been released back into the wilderness. The strange creature, and internet celebrity, was captured last week by Percy and Connie Elmert.

Connie said:

"I kept telling my husband I saw a purple one out in the yard. 'Oh sure you did' he kept telling me. Well, he checked the trap around noon on Sunday and sure enough, there it was."

The Huffington Post reports that this isn't the only purple squirrel on record. A similar critter was found in 2008 in England.

Chris Packham, a wildlife expert, said at the time:

"I have never seen anything like it before. Squirrels will chew anything even if it's obviously inedible. It is possible he has been chewing on a purple ink cartridge and then groomed that coloring into his fur."
"This is not good at all. That color looks very much like Tyrian purple. It is a natural organobromide compound seen in molluscs and rarely found in land animals. The squirrel has too much bromide in its system possibly from all the bromide laced frack water it's been drinking. I would raise the alarm. This could mean bladder cancer for humans down the road."

Here are some more photos of the purple squirrel.