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Albino squirrel spotted foraging in Sussex

The condition can make the creatures more easy to spot by predators.

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A rare albino squirrel sits on a tree in Sussex (Clive Marshall/PA)

A rare albino squirrel sits on a tree in Sussex (Clive Marshall/PA)

A rare albino squirrel sits on a tree in Sussex (Clive Marshall/PA)

A rare albino squirrel has been spotted foraging for food in Sussex.

The Forestry Commission said the condition is caused by a rare gene inherited from the parents, and in 2010 only one in 100,000 squirrels were born albino.

The gene is not dominant, meaning an albino squirrel can have grey siblings.

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The squirrel was spotted in a tree in squirrel (Clive Marshall/PA)

The squirrel was spotted in a tree in squirrel (Clive Marshall/PA)

PA

The squirrel was spotted in a tree in squirrel (Clive Marshall/PA)

But their white fur makes them more vulnerable to attack from predators as they have no natural camouflage.

Albino animals lack melanin and are white with no markings and with unpigmented pink eyes.

A website created for the public to record sightings of a white squirrel show more than 200 have been spotted in places including Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London.

Claire Brimacombe, who created the website White Squirrels of Sussex, said more than 30 sightings were submitted in the past two weeks.

PA


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