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Rare 'squirrel' seems to be all white for now; CREATURE SPOTTED AGAIN... BUT IS IT ACTUALLY A CHIPMUNK?

Byline: KEANE DUNCAN keane.duncan@reachplc.com @Keanedunk

HE'S back and happier than ever...

Middlesbrough's cheeky "white squirrel" has been filmed bounding about in yet another Nunthorpe garden.

Lyndsey Knox captured him dancing along the garden fence and jumping on to her conservatory roof.

It's a month since the ultra-rare creature was last snapped by fellow resident and Teesside grandad Steve Affleck at 5.30am.

But his appearance in The Gazette sparked a debate about whether he was actually a squirrel at all.

Some suggested it could in fact be a white Siberian chipmunk that had escaped captivity.

"Saw it in my garden too," posted Tracey Profitt on Facebook. "Much smaller than a squirrel, we thought it could be a chipmunk escaped from somewhere?" Christopher McPherson said: "Escaped chipmunk - it's got the stripes in its fur, squirrels don't have stripes."

White squirrels are a rare occurrence, with reports suggesting there are only around 50 of the creatures in the UK.

A spokesman for Tees Valley Wildlife Trust said the creatures are uncommon because they stand out, leaving them open to prey.

"Chances are this will be an albino squirrel, they are relatively rare," said the spokesman.

"One of the reasons they are rare is because they don't survive, they stand out so are predated quite easily."

The white squirrel - or possibly white Siberian chipmunk - in Nunthorpe LYNDSEY KNOX

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 14, 2019
Words:228
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