Animals

By Christina Wood


A dad-of-two caught hilarious pictures of a ‘brave’ but rare albino squirrel posing like a model in his ‘white suit’ – without realising it had been ruined with spots of dirt on the end of his own nose.

Tim Clifton, 54, couldn’t believe his luck when the unusual squirrel modeled in front of the camera for an hour in Alexandra Park in Hastings, East Sussex.

PIC BY TIM CLIFTON/MERCURY PRESS

In some of the pictures the rodent doesn’t seem to realise he has dirt on his nose, ruining his perfect white coat, while confidently posing.

Tim, from St Leonards-On-Sea, East Sussex, said: “He came out with a dirty nose and It looked like he had a white suit on but he didn’t realise he had messed it up. It was quite funny.

“Squirrels are usually quite shy but he was quite brave. I couldn’t believe my luck. He was very confident posing for the camera.

PIC BY TIM CLIFTON/MERCURY PRESS

“I’m not sure if I’ll ever see another one that brave. I was amazed. The albino squirrel really stands out and is quite a rare phenomenon

“When I saw him I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was great. I sat on a bench and he came towards me.

“He looked at me as if to say ‘got anything for me Mr?'”

The salesman spotted the squirrel finding food and burying it before climbing up trees as well as posing for the camera in the hour the animal was there earlier this year.

PIC BY TIM CLIFTON/MERCURY PRESS

The amateur wildlife photographer has only seen this type of squirrel once before but this is the first time he has ever managed to catch one on camera.

Albinism is caused by a mutation on a gene that codes for pigmentation and the odds of squirrels being born white is said to be one in 100,000.

PIC BY TIM CLIFTON/MERCURY PRESS

Tim said: “I’m very proud and thrilled to get these pictures as it completes my collection having previously capturing grey, red and black squirrels.

“I took a variety of pictures of the Albino. I really like the one where the squirrel is standing on its back legs as it looks like it has trousers on.

“When I first arrived in the park I saw something white rustling around in the bushes and thought it was a seagull.

PIC BY TIM CLIFTON/MERCURY PRESS

“As I got closer I saw it was a squirrel and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A few years earlier I had seen a white squirrel but was not able to get a picture.

“My wife Emma [Clifton, 45] was the first to see the pictures and she was also amazed to see it.

“I have had a fantastic reaction to the pictures from people who had never seen one. I do get a buzz from sharing my pictures.”