October 10, 2018 11.37 am This story is over 65 months old

Rare white squirrel spotted in Lincoln

The white fur is caused by a genetic trait

There have been a few sightings recently of a rare squirrel with a gene mutation that causes the fur to be white and an eagle-eyed local got up close to one in Lincoln last week.

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust said that, although its fur is white, it is not known as an albino squirrel.

Instead this squirrel has a genetic trait known as leucism, which turns their fur a milky-white colour, and Andy Brown photographed this rare creature in the city.

This squirrel has a genetic trait known as Leucism. Photo: Andy Brown

Leucistic squirrels have dark brown eyes whereas albino squirrels have distinctive red eyes – both are very rare with only a handful known to the UK.

Leucism also occurs in birds, so people may have seen blackbirds and sparrows that are completely white or that have some white feathers.