Residents of a building at Tilak Nagar in Chembur spotted an albino squirrel on Wednesday.
The sighting of such a squirrel is a rare sight, according to zoologists. Albino squirrels have little or less production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to the skin and hair. “To find albino squirrels in Mumbai, is not unusual but something uncommon,” said Dr Deepak Apte, director, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
Officials from BNHS also identified a characteristic feature for these squirrels. “If the eyes of the squirrel are red then complete Albinism has taken place, but if the eyes are still black then it is termed as partial Albinism or Leucism, partial loss of pigmentation,” said Raju Kasambe of BNHS.
Experts also added that these squirrels tend to venture out into cities since predators are limited. “They are easily spotted by predators and owing to their foreign appearance. Families and social groups exclude them as well,” said Avinash Kubal, deputy director, Maharashtra Nature Park society.