A recent proliferation of white squirrels are causing quite a sensation in upstate New York. See: An Omen, a Mascot — and Quite a Sensation.
Locals are thrilled, quickly naming them Al Bino, Alby and Snowflake. One local college made Alby a pseudo-mascot. It’s fitting considering all the snow they get up there.
“How could you not love a little fun-loving, tame, albino squirrel?” Laura Sadowski (said of Alby.)
Unfortunately, Alby has gone to squirrel heaven. And Al has possibly disappeared (white squirrels are perfect prey for red-tailed hawks, who hone in one them from hundreds of yards away. In a forest, white flashes of scampering are probably easy for anyone to see. Which is why white squirrels remain rare in temperate climates) and has been replaced by a more “French vanilla” squirrel now named Junior.
“For Michael Kelly, 55, who counts himself a blood brother of the Seneca-Cayuga American Indian tribe, the first encounter (with Snowflake, apparently still alive) was striking. He said the tribe considers white animals a good omen.
“I was just astonished. I’d never seen one,” Kelly said. “I wasn’t sure exactly what it was.”