Stoke & Staffordshire

White squirrel in Cannock 'targeted for unusual fur'

Image copyright Google
Image caption The squirrel was found by a member of the public on a field on St James Road, Cannock

A white squirrel left "screaming in pain" after being shot in the head is believed to have been targeted for its unusual colouring.

The RSPCA was alerted after a member of the public spotted the collapsed animal on a field in Cannock.

Officers found an air gun pellet wound in the "writhing" squirrel and a decision was taken to put it down.

The charity now wants to find those responsible, describing the shooting as "cruel" and "upsetting".

RSPCA inspector Laura Baker attended the St James Road site and said the squirrel was "fitting and thrashing about", believing it to have been picked out for its fur.

She said: "It is such a cruel thing to do - often air guns don't kill animals outright and they are left in agony.

"I know this white squirrel was quite popular with residents living nearby and they would often feed her so they have been left very upset about this incident."

The charity said the animal was a grey squirrel born with leucism - a partial loss of pigmentation to the fur.

This differs to albino squirrels, which have a congenital condition caused by an absence of melanin.

The attack happened at about 20:00 BST on 27 June.

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