Odd squirrel sighting could make you think you've gone nuts

Robert Barker spotted, and photographed, a white squirrel in the woods near Salisbury.

Robert Barker spotted, and photographed, a white squirrel in the woods near Salisbury

Robert Barker came across this odd-looking squirrel in the woods this week. (Robert Barker/Submitted)

It was a sight that made Robert Barker do a double take.

While working in the woods near Salisbury, N.B., on Thursday, the heavy equipment operator spotted a white critter that hopped into view.

"At first I had seen it crawling over the wood piles. I looked down and thought it might be a weasel at first and then I kind of did a double take on it," Barker said.

"No, it didn't look like a weasel to me; it looked like a squirrel."

A white red squirrel is running around the woods of southeastern New Brunswick. (Robert Barker/Submitted)

He moved in for a closer inspection and the squirrel kindly stayed around long enough for a quick photo op. And he even got a second look when the furry fellow showed up the following morning, Barker said.

The photos were posted to Facebook and it cause quite a stir online.

"Everyone got a kick out of it. They've never heard tell of this before. Thought it was kind of cool," said Barker, who mainly works in the woods.

"I see lots of moose and deer out in the woods, but never anything like this."

Barker, who is from Petitcodiac, N.B., figured it was an albino squirrel but a Laurentian University professor said that's unclear.

The eyes suggest the squirrel may not be albino. (Robert Barker/Submitted)

Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde, the research chairman for Applied Evolutionary Ecology, told CBC News albino "implies a complete absence of pigment." He said it's difficult to tell if the eyes are without pigment from the photographs.

Albino squirrels are known for pink-coloured eyes. This little guy appears to have dark eyes in Barker's photos.

Schulte-Hostedde identified the animal as a "white red squirrel."

The American red squirrel, which has several nicknames, is a common critter found across most of North America. The colour of this one's coat is less common — Schulte-Hostedde had never seen one before.