An exquisitely elusive and seldom seen white squirrel was spotted and snapped in an English garden last week, and since then, this rarest of rodents has become a frequent visitor to the owner’s well-stocked bird table.
As any amateur wildlife enthusiast worth their salt knows, capturing the incredibly rare albino squirrel on camera is the photographic equivalent of capturing lightning in a bottle. It’s probably why the albino squirrel also goes by the nickname of “White Lighting.”
Because of its striking, unusual, and distinctive coloring, the albino squirrel has to be fleet of foot, sharp of instinct, and wary of being seen if it wants to survive for any time in the natural kingdom.
Squirrels have about a one in 100,000 chance of being born an albino, and their white skin, red eyes, and complete lack of camouflage make them an easy target for predators.
Estimates suggest that there could be fewer than 100 albino squirrels in Britain’s countryside at any one time, so to spot one and also capture it on camera is a double whammy.
The BBC reports that although red squirrels may be rare in their native Britain compared with the American Grey, albino squirrels are ever rarer.
“Grey squirrels — originally brought to Britain from North America — are now estimated to number around two and a half million, vastly outnumbering the native red squirrel. But albinos remain a rarity.”
Many people who’ve lived in the British countryside all there life have never seen a white squirrel before. They may have seen plenty of red squirrels as children, and obviously they still see plenty of greys, but to see a white squirrel is something special.
A squirrel, particularly a white squirrel is considered to be a spiritually significant power animal. Any sighting of such a creature is meant to symbolize that we have reached a dead-end in our life, or are facing a seemingly hopeless situation.
The sight of a squirrel is supposed to awaken a new sense of positive power within or soul, which suggests that with tenacity, resourcefulness, and determination, no situation is without hope and any obstacle can be overcome.
The woman whose little patch of England has become a temporary sanctuary for the albino squirrel is care worker Suzie Chadwick, who spotted the elusive creature in her garden in East Grinstead, Sussex.
The squirrel spotter doesn’t recall when she first glimpsed her first flash of “White Lightning,” but the mythical white creature, whom Suzie believes to be male, has been a frequent visitor to her garden every day during the past week.
Which has enabled Suzie to snap some top quality shots of the bushy tailed diner relaxing and taking its fill on her bird table.
Far from being in danger, Suzie claims her little red-eyed visitor, who she’s toying with calling either Henry or Harry, is a tenacious sort who is accepted by the other inhabitants of her garden, including the bossy grey squirrels.
“He is accepted by the other squirrels but likes to show he’s in charge. He plays with other grey squirrels and fights over the peanuts, sunflower seeds and bread on offer in the feeder – with tempers occasionally boiling over.
“He had a big scratch on his face after a fight last week, but he keeps coming back because he seems to like a piece of the action.”
Like some fantastical creature from Narnia, an unmistakable bolt of “White Lightning” has been seen riding the golden rays of dawn and the darkening shadows of dusk in Suzie’s garden ever since.
[Image via Suzie Chadwick/Facebook]