A rare Toronto animal and Trinity Bellwoods Park mascot died on Tuesday and there won’t be a memorial for it.
Around 8 a.m. residents Chris and Kristy Boys were walking their son to daycare when they saw the squirrel lying motionless on Strachan Avenue.
“Oh my god, it’s the white squirrel!” recalls Chris.
Chris was excited at first and thought to himself that he never gets to see the rare, white squirrel. But when he approached it he realized it was dead.
He believes the squirrel got electrocuted in overhead telephone wires or could have slipped and fell. Chris pointed to the wires above the sidewalk where he found the squirrel and said you can even see the tail of another animal sticking out over the wires.
Over the last couple of months the couple has only seen a white squirrel once or twice, but admitted they have plenty of brown squirrels scurrying in their backyard. Chris mentioned that he wished the white squirrel’s life had been spared and Kristy said she hopes it is not the last white squirrel.
The White Squirrel café, located at 907 Queen Street West, said they are very sad to hear about the death.
“That is really sad, we love the white squirrels” said one of the employees. “We know there is a bunch of white squirrels living in the park so it is not the end.”
— Trinity Bellwoods FM (@TBFarmersMarket) May 8, 2016
This is not the first white squirrel to be found deceased near Trinity Bellwoods Park. Another one was found dead in August 2014.
“There is a population of white squirrels that’s been known about there for decades,” said a staff worker from the Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC).“They are actually not albino, they are a perfectly normal squirrel, just white.”
Typically when the TWC sees albino squirrels they don’t “do very well” and are blind or deaf, or both — unlike the white squirrels known to live in Trinity Bellwoods Park.
When Chris went back to check on the squirrel later that day it had disappeared and he thinks the garbage truck may have picked it up or another resident may have disposed of it.