TORONTO – The elusive white squirrel from Trinity Bellwoods Park has died.
A resident in the area spotted the squirrel hanging from hydro wires Sunday night
“I read that he was electrocuted which is not a very nice way to go,” said local resident Kristin Somborac. “It’s too bad it wasn’t a natural death.”
Though photos, Twitter accounts and videos on YouTube exist documenting the squirrel, not everyone who lives in the area had seen the squirrel.
“I don’t know if it actually exists. It’s kind of mysterious,” said resident John Legg.
And perhaps that is what made the squirrel become such an iconic figure in the neighbourhood: it even has its own Twitter account. It posted several tweets Tuesday morning to quash the rumours of its death.
David Ginsberg, the owner of the White Squirrel Coffee Shop said it’s a popular hub that gets phone calls and emails from others who want to know more about the white squirrel.
“Because they think that I love squirrels. I like squirrels, I don’t have a special affinity to them. Of course this is sad news.” said Ginsberg.
Residents told Global News that the white squirrels originated in a park on White Squirrel Way near Queen Street West.
Nathalie Karvonen, who is the executive director with the Toronto Wildlife Centre said albino squirrels are not common but many have been spotted in that area.
Karvonen said typically, albino animals do not live long lives.
“They’re just unthrifty and have problems with their vision. Sometimes they are entirely blind,” she said. “So it is an accomplishment to the white squirrels at Trinity Bellwoods that they are doing so well.”
There are more. While the lore surrounding the white squirrel focuses on one, there have been sightings of several in the park.
Karvonen said the Centre received a young injured albino squirrel two years ago.
“It was only two or three months old so it actually wasn’t an adult yet and prior to that there had always been white squirrel spottings in the area,” said Karvonen.
Toronto Hydro removed the squirrel from the wires Monday afternoon. A spokesperson told Global News, it was disposed of appropriately.
That leaves residents wondering if there should be a proper memorial.
“I think it would be nice to have something to remember him,” said Somborac.