What Turned A Squirrel Purple in Jersey Shore, PA?

Yes, this post is about a squirrel that is purple and that was found in a town called Jersey Shore that is in Pennsylvania (i.e., not near the actual Jersey Shore).

On Sunday, Connie and Percy Emert discovered a squirrel that is definitely purple as photos onAccuWeather,YahooNews and Facebook reveal. The Emerts said they have a number of bird feeders in their yard and that squirrels are constantly getting into them; Percy Emert has set up traps for the squirrels and releases them into the wild — and so, on Sunday, the Emerts found themselves getting a very good view of what was indeed a purple squirrel in one of the traps. After putting the squirrel into a larger cage so their neighbors could see their unexpected “guest,” the Emerts released the animal back into the wild.

Not surprisingly, the squirrel has acquired bothTwitter andFacebook accounts.

Connie Emert opined that the squirrel had been dyed. AccuWeather‘s staff offered a couple of other explanations, such as that the squirrel had fallen into a “port-a-potty or something similar” (if that is the case, good thing the squirrel was able to get itself out). In 2008, apurple squirrel called Pete was seen in the UK and purple ink hypothesized as the reason.AccuWeather cited some other other suggestions:

John Griffin, Director of Humane Wildlife Services for the Humane Society, said “It might be possible that there was some introduction of a product into the nesting material that imparted this color to the fur, or accidental immersion/contact with a dying or coloring compound during (its) lifetime.” He also said “The color (of the squirrel) does not appear to be even which would make me think that it is likely to be the natural color of the fur.”

Krish Pillai, a professor at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, commented 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 (possibly) has too much bromide in its system.”

The squirrel could have gotten bromide into its system from drinking water containing the chemical — and the bromide could have gotten into groundwater as a result of hydraulic fracking, which can producehighly toxic radioactive wastewater,saysYahooNews.Fracking is indeed common in Pennsylvania.

In other words, the purple squirrel could be just yet another one of those weird-but-true animal stories we read about so much on the Internet. Or it could be a sign that something is not so right out there in our nature, so that animals are sporting decidedly artificial colors.

Related Care2 Coverage

Adorable Orphaned Squirrels Released Into Wild VIDEO

Rescue of the Week: Maryland Woman Saves Squirrel

Filmmaker Arrested at Capitol Hill Fracking Hearing

Photo by ibm4381


LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago

Eternal Gardener is right!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.4 years ago


Joyce Suto
Joyce Suto4 years ago

I think this is living proof we have gone overboard with Mother Nature and need to start seriously mending our evil ways!!! The sad part is the people who really need to fix things would not even care!

Patty B.
Patty B.4 years ago

People will wait until their family is impacted to investigate water and fracking that is too polluted .Fracking is messing with the eartjh's crust which should never ever be done. And what about the thousands of chemicals the corps use to frack .If you want to know the truth re: fracking...off er a glass of fracked runoff water to a corp exec....and watch his/her rection.

Claire Jordan
Claire Jordan4 years ago

Do we have actual evidence from the neighbours who supposedly viewed this animal? Looking at the images on Facebook I rather suspect that what turned this squirrel purple was Photoshop.

It can happen, of course, - there was a green kitten born in Europe a few years ago due to some kind of copper contamination. But that purple just doesn't look right to me - it looks like what you get by fiddling with the Hue control.

Ma Danella Ibay
Danella Ibay4 years ago

I hope the squirrel is going to be okay! We should plant more trees!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Can't someone make sure the squirrel is okay... bit worried about this actually!

Jane Rosenbaum
Past Member 4 years ago

I hope the squirrel is going to be okay.