It's a colorful world out there and it seems some strange colors are showing up on animals. The most recent colorful critter is a purple squirrel in Pennsylvania that has become an Internet sensation.
The squirrel looks like any other normal squirrel except it is purple. Accuweather.com shared the story of the purple squirrel that had been caught in a trap by a bird-watching Jersey Shore, Pa., couple.
They discovered the "royal" squirrel in one of the traps they used to catch and relocate nuisance squirrels that pillage their bird feeders. After taking some pictures and video, they released the squirrel in another location, but the critter has made an impression.
Facebook pages and Twitter accounts have popped up for the purple squirrel, and observers have been entertained with working out theories on how the purple nut-lover became purple.
Theories have run from a crazy genetic mutation to an accidental dip in a port-a-potty and everything in between. Perhaps the little guy could become the subject of a great children's book on how the squirrel got his purple.
The Purple Calf of Serbia
Another purple creature turned up in January in Serbia when a purple calf was born to a run-of-the-mill cow in a village near the city of Cacak. According to the website Metro UK, the calf has attracted plenty of attention from villagers and Internet surfers and is a favorite of children in the village where it resides.
What is the reason behind this purple and white bovine? Could the odd coloring have been caused by simple genetics or environmental factors the mama cow may have been exposed to during pregnancy? Nobody seems to know but it really doesn't matter because a purple calf is just so darn cute.
In the case of the purple cow, the strange coloring occurred naturally and in the case of the purple squirrel, nobody is really certain what happened there. In some cases of strange animal colorations, the "why" is due to a little human intervention.
In such a case of unnatural color, a New Zealand man was found guilty of ill-treatment of animals after a 2009 case involving spray-painting hawks. As reported by Australia's Herald Sun, the circumstances are plenty strange -- a seemingly new species of hawk with pinkish red feathers were discovered but as it turned out, farmer Grant Michael Teahan had been capturing hawks and coloring them with spray paint, then releasing them back into the wild, just for fun.
Teahan was caught red-handed, so to speak, when he instructed a relative to send a YouTube video featuring a man shooting a bird in a cage and that cage had reddish-pink spray paint on it. This prompted an investigation and pictures and files relating to red hawks were discovered on Teahan's computer.