DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A recent bird attack on a friendly squirrel shines light on how tough it can be to be an albino squirrel in the wild.

A Centerville man who did not want to be named reported to 2 NEWS about an albino squirrel in Washington Township that had been attacked.

He said that a bird had attacked the white squirrel and left puncture marks on the back left leg with blood visible, a challenge that most albino animals face in the wild.

Dr. Don Cipollini, professor of biological sciences at Wright State University, said, “If you’re white, you contrast a lot with your background. You become very easy to see by potential predators.”

You would be lucky to see an adult albino animal, as most don’t survive to become an adult.

Cipollini said, “When they’re more vulnerable to predators, less able to escape, smaller, not as strong and agile, and so a lot of albino animals don’t even make it to adulthood.”

Albino squirrels are not a different animal, rather a result of genetics.

Cipollini said, “They have a mutation in genes that control their skin and fur colors.”

Only the smartest and toughest make it to become an adult.

Cipollini said, “They learn how to be wary of predators and stay alive. You know, even though they stick out like a sore thumb, so to speak.”

If you encounter an injured animal in the wild, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources recommends calling a local wildlife rehabilitator or a county wildlife officer.