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Purple US squirrel sparks nutty theories

11 february 2012, 13:40
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©REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
©REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
A purple squirrel captured by an American couple had the Internet buzzing Friday over how the critter came by his unusual color -- a question that is driving many people nuts, AFP reports.

"We have no idea whatsoever. It's really purple. People think we dyed it, but honestly, we just found it and it was purple," said Percy Emert, who found the animal with his wife Connie.

The squirrel had been trapped on Sunday in one of the cages the couple puts out in their Pennsylvania garden to protect their birds from wild animals roaming the grounds, they told the website accuweather.com.

The website sought explanations about how the cuddly creature came by its strange hue, and expert meteorologist Dan Kottlowski came up with one idea. "Squirrels get into all kinds of stuff. He could have gotten into some purple ink or purple paint at some point," he wrote.

But one commentator called Krish reckoned: "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 its been drinking. I would raise the alarm. This could mean bladder cancer for humans down the road."

Another commentator who used the handle, Lane Rasberry, said: "He gorged himself in a bucket of blueberries, obviously."

While on the purple squirrel's Facebook one comic asked: "Is it true that your Mom was a red squirrel and your dad was blue?"

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