The legacy of UNT’s albino squirrels live on

The legacy of UNT’s albino squirrels live on

April 26
23:59 2012

Holly Harvey / Senior Staff Writer

Scrappy the Eagle may be the official mascot of UNT, but he doesn’t have his own calendar or drink named after him.

Albino squirrels have been around UNT since 2000, and the furry rodent nearly became the secondary mascot of UNT in 2006. However, the student referendum failed to pass, according to an article in the North Texan.

A recessive gene causes a pigmentation limitation of the affected squirrel and results in white fur with pink paws and eyes.

Sociology senior Johnathan Bohmier took this picture of the infamous albino squirrel outside his apartment off Eagle Drive and Carroll Street on April 10. “I was drinking some coffee on my porch … look to the trees because I hear squirrels fighting, and I see a white blur jump across the branches. It was an albino squirrel chasing another squirrel around,” Bohmier said in an email.

UNT’s first known albino squirrel, known as Thelonius, was found in 2000, and its discovery led to the formation of the Albino Squirrel Preservation Society chapter at UNT. The group at one point had more than 400 members.

Thelonius went missing around 2003, according to a university press release.

The next known albino squirrel, Baby, was first seen around 2004, said Dreanna Belden, UNT Libraries assistant dean for external relations. Baby lived near the University Union and was killed by a red-tailed hawk in August 2006.

After Baby’s death, Willis Library dedicated a memorial to the squirrel.

Another albino squirrel, dubbed “Baby’s Baby,” was spotted near Maple Hall in 2007. The squirrel was later spotted near the southeast corner of Welch and Eagle streets with an albino mate, information science professor Melody Kelly said.

The albino squirrel had its own calendar published by the library from 2007 until 2010, and orders came in from every state in the United States and from Canada and Ireland, according to an article in the UNT Insider.

The calendar benefitted a scholarship fund, and the library made button and lapel pins with the squirrel’s image.

Students can remember UNT’s unofficial mascot at the Cyber Cafe in Willis Library, which has a drink called the “Albino Squirrel,” consisting of white chocolate and coffee.

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