Meet the peepish squirrel running around the UI campus

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — You’ve heard of an albino squirrel, and now, there’s another kind of squirrel running around Champaign.

Some students on the U of I campus recently saw a squirrel peep. It is a healthy animal, it only has spots and extra white patches on its fur.

Eric Schauber, director of the Illinois Natural History Survey, said it is caused by a rare genetic mutation.

“It affects where melanin, which is the brown pigment, is distributed throughout the body,” he said. “There are patches that have white, so this squirrel’s offspring could also have the same genetics.”

Because of that, Campustown may see more of them in the future, though it’s rare.

Schauber added that when you see a squirrel, just watch its behavior and don’t feed it.

He said that other mammals could also have this piebald pattern, such as horses and deer.