The Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Warren County, New Jersey discovered a litter of six baby squirrels in an attic.
Since becoming a non-profit organization in 2008, Antler Ridge has rescued more than 1,600 Eastern Grey squirrels. Antler Ridge has a mission to treat and care for injured or orphaned wild animals and return them to the wild after being rehabilitated. To their surprise, one of the squirrels in the litter was a white squirrel.
They named the squirrel Filbert. Linda DeLorenzo, a wildlife rehabilitator, said they were not sure if he was an albino or if he was leucistic (a partial loss pigment).
The difference is that a squirrel with leucism will have dark eyes, and an albino will have red eyes. It is not uncommon for squirrels to be born with light colored fur since it changes as they grow.
As Filbert grew, his coat remained white. When Filbert was four weeks old, his eyes opened, and that’s when everyone knew Filbert was an albino.
At twelve weeks old, the rest of the litter was released into the wild. All except for Filbert. The staff knew Filbert would find life in the wild difficult because he had no way to remain hidden from predators because of his color.
Albino squirrels are very rare only 1 out of every 100,000 is albino. Filbert will live at Antler Ridge and teach students about albinism and squirrels.
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