A couple in Jersey Shore, Pa. has released the purple squirrel that they captured on Sunday back into the wild.
Connie Emert told AccuWeather.com that no one believed her when she first spotted the colorful creature on her property. She and her husband, Percy, regularly trap squirrels that come into their yard in order to keep them away from the birds.
“My husband traps them and then sets them free elsewhere so they don’t get into your bird feeders,” Connie said.
“I kept telling my husband I saw a purple one out in the year. ‘Oh sure you did’ he kept telling me,” she said. “Well, he checked the trap around noon on Sunday and sure enough, there it was.”
The couple kept the squirrel caged for a few days to show it off, but released it back into the wild on Tuesday. That hasn’t stopped the animal from getting its very own Facebook fan page, which currently has over 3,800 likes and a Twitter page.
How the squirrel came to be purple is still not known. Some theorize that it got into some sort of purple ink or purple paint. Professor Krish Pillai of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania had a more ominous opinion, commenting that “This is not good at all. That color looks very much like Tyrian purple. It is a natural organobromide compound seen in molluscs and rarely found in land animals. The squirrel has too much bromide in its system possibly from all the bromide laced frack water it’s been drinking. I would raise the alarm. This could mean bladder cancer for humans down the road.”
This isn’t the first purple squirrel to make the news. In 1997 a purple squirrel was spotted in Minnesota, and “Pete” was a purple squirrel seen in the United Kingdom in 2008. In the case of Pete, it was decided that purple ink was most likely behinf his unusual fur