Rare sighting: White squirrel spotted in Jacksonville neighborhood

This isn’t something you see every day!

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Greg Goicoechea

Greg Goicoechea sent News4JAX photos of white squirrel in the neighborhood.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Well, this isn’t something you see every day.

Greg Goicoechea on Thursday morning sent News4JAX photos of a white squirrel in a neighborhood in the area of Atlantic and Kernan boulevards.

The Washington Post reported that a white squirrel can either be a pigmentless albino or a white morph, which is also known as a leucistic squirrel.

“A white squirrel is actually a genetic anomaly due to a mutated gene from the common Eastern Gray Squirrel. It is called leucism, which is a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals caused by a recessive allele,” according to the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

An albino squirrel has red or pink eyes, while a leucistic squirrel has black eyes and often a bit of color on its fur -- like a dark patch on its head and/or a stripe along its back.

Based on the photos, the color of the squirrel’s eyes are unclear, but there are not any apparent dark patches.

While the animal is not something you often see in your yard, it’s actually not the first time News4JAX has reported on a white squirrel in Jacksonville.

In 2019, a white squirrel was spotted outside Fishweir Elementary School. A second grade teacher at Fishweir told News4JAX that her class watched as the squirrel cracked acorns on a branch outside their classroom and she turned the sighting into a teaching moment for her students.