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There are several towns in the United States and Canada that pride themselves on their white squirrels. I've visited five now. You can read more at the Roadside America web site.
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|With my visit to Marionville, Missouri, my collection
of white squirrel havens in the U.S. is complete (as far as I know). Exeter,
Ontario, is next on this list.
I saw three white squirrels in Marionville. They were all difficult to approach. One is picture above and left, another below.
|This squirrel lives in Brevard, North Carolina. It took me over an hour to find this one white squirrel, and it wasn't very cooperative. In these pictures (click on the one below for a better framed image) he is hiding on a branch over fifty feet up a tree.|
|Residents claim that the white squirrels are all over the place, although they seem to be combining with the grey squirrel population, producing hybrid multicolor animals.
I still only found the one.
|Olney, Illinois, and Kenton, Tennessee, claim to be the real home of the white squirrels. Olney makes a much bigger deal of it, but I only saw one there. He lives in the park. There are signs all over touting the white squirrels, and the streets in the park are White Squirrel Drive, White Squirrel Circle, etc. The squirrel wouldn't eat out of my hand, but he wasn't scared of me, either.|
|In contrast, I saw no signs in Kenton saying anything about white
squirrels. I stopped at a small church rummage sale and asked where
to find them. "Oh, they are all over," the woman said. "Just
drive around the streets behind the church."
I did, and, just when I was ready to give up, I spotted a couple in someone's yard. These squirrels behaved as regular squirrels do, running through yards and up trees. I couldn't get close at all, but I had a long zoom lens.
I returned to Kenton in 2001. Read about it here.
|Exeter, Ontario, provides the northernmost candidate for Home of the White Squirrels. In September of 2000 they held their first White Squirrel Festival, which promises to be an annual event. I attended it and will be writing about it shortly.|
|While the folks in Exeter are quick to point out they their squirrels have black eyes and are not albino, they neglect to mention that their squirrels are actually two-tone, having a cream-colored (or "coloured", as they write in Canada) lower body. They may very well turn completely white in the winter. They are still white enough for advertizing purposes.|
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