A doctor and outdoor photographer captured a very rare white squirrel outside his office that he believes is a good omen.
Dr. Gary Blick, who works for Health Care Advocates International, spotted the unusual rodent outside his place of work in Stratford, Connecticut, and was thrilled to see it.
“Gray squirrels, about one in 100,00 times come in albino or white color,” Dr. Blick tells News 12 Connecticut.
“White squirrels are a genetic anomaly caused by a mutated gene and they’re believed to bring good luck.”
Dr. Blick says that the harbinger of good fortune was most welcome because he currently has a lot on his plate.
“My life has been in a lot of chaos recently with my Mom and others’ health and my house being under construction and everything,” he tells News 12 Connecticut.
“And I thought, this gave me chills, this is good luck and I need really good luck right now.”
Dr. Blick points out that white squirrels can be easy prey for predators because they stand out in their habitat.
Albinism in squirrels means a suppression of the melanin hormone which creates pigment, causing albino squirrels to have all-white fur and their eyes to appear red.
To Native Americans, albino squirrels are a symbol of peace, and used them to signal surrender to an opponent on the battlefield.
According to Kitty City Squirrels, if a member of a Native American tribe kills an albino squirrel then that person will be cursed and lose their hunting privileges.
In mythology, albino squirrels symbolize change is coming and appear as a sign urging that person to prepare.
White squirrels hold a special place in Olney, Illinois where each year volunteers come to record the number of white squirrels and gray squirrels. There are said to be a large number of albino squirrels and they are protected by law.
White squirrels have the right of way on all public streets, and if a driver was careless enough to run one over, then that person would be fined $750.
Not only that, but the police officers in Olney there wear squirrel badges
Image credits: All photos by Dr. Gary Blick.