A RARE albino squirrel, thought to be one of only 25 in the UK, has been killed by a vehicle on a road.
The animal was one of a small number of albino grey squirrels that have won the affection of families and children in the Edinburgh area over several years.
While grey squirrels are usually vilified for preventing the spread of the native red variety, the pure white albinos are loved for their novelty.
They have won sympathy as their white coats stand out and make them more vulnerable to predators, while albinos are also said to suffer from problems with their sight and hearing, which may have sealed the dead animal’s fate.
There is thought to be just one rare albino remaining in the Capital.
One Edinburgh local said: “Our white squirrels have become quite famous, and people are always amazed to see them.
“It’s heartbreaking that one of them has met its end in this way. My children were in tears.”
Some residents blamed the volume of traffic passing through the area due to continuing roadworks on nearby Queensferry Road.
One added: “Grey squirrels are widely considered to be pests but most folk have a soft spot for our albinos, and we feel quite protective of them.
“There’s been a lot of extra traffic on the roads, and it looks like this poor squirrel has become a victim of that.”