Beds, Herts & Bucks

Dunstable bald squirrel 'Baldy' dies from skin cancer

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Media captionBaldy was captured "for her own safety"

A hairless squirrel taken to a rescue centre amid fears it would not survive the cold winter has died from skin cancer.

"Baldy", as she became known, was captured "for her own safety" in a park in Dunstable in November.

The squirrel's total lack of fur and fluffy tail were thought to be genetic.

Staff from wildlife hospital Tiggywinkles, where Baldy was being treated, confirmed she died from natural causes.

A spokeswoman for the Aylesbury hospital said Baldy died before the results of a biopsy came back, but it was "likely" the cancer was the cause of her death.

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Image copyright Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue
Image caption Baldy died in a hospital that treats orphaned wildlife

Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue, which saved the squirrel in November, wrote on its Facebook page on Wednesday: "I have sad news about the bald squirrel from Grove Park, Dunstable, I'm afraid.

"Tiggywinkles took the squirrel in for us and have been amazingly kind and helpful. They carried out tests to see if her baldness could be cured, but very sadly the tests showed skin cancer."

Dozens of people have paid tribute to Baldy on social media.

One wrote: "Poor little thing. Lovely to know there are good people out there and she died in comfort. RIP little squirrel."

Another said: "So glad she was rescued before all of the last week's freezing weather hit. Bless her. Climb free little squirrel."

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