News / Toronto

Trinity Bellwoods 'elusive' white squirrel found dead

It was an unceremonious end to the storied life of one of Toronto’s most iconic creatures.

An elusive white squirrel, one of the famous few that live in Trinity Bellwoods Park, has apparently been electrocuted and was still dangling by its teeth from hydro wires on Monday afternoon, its claws clutching at air.

Amil Niazi, whose home is on Bellwoods Park, said the squirrel lives in the tree beside her house.

She came home Saturday night to find the critter “alarmingly stiff” in the wires beside the tree.

“As a symbol of the park, and often the neighbourhood, it was shocking to say the least, to see him displayed that way,” she said in an email to the Star.

Toronto’s Animal Services has not received a call about the squirrel, but doesn’t deal with wires and trees anyway, said city spokeswoman Tammy Robbinson.

“Staff are very aware of the squirrels and really upset about the death,” said Dale McDonald, who works with Animal Services officers.

Toronto Hydro said Monday afternoon it would be sending a crew to remove the squirrel, which is hanging over a footpath.

Visitors to the park often delight in spotting the albino squirrel, which has become the namesake of a café in the neighbourhood and the subject of a mural on a storage shed in Trinity Bellwoods.

A laneway — White Squirrel Way — near the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health campus on Queen St. W. is also named for the squirrels that used to make their home there before migrating to the park.

Several white squirrels make their home in the park, although sightings are likely to be that much rarer in the future.

On Monday, several passersby stopped to take photos once they noticed the animal hanging a few metres overhead.

“It’s so morbid,” said Alicia Orr-Lombardo, a teacher out enjoying her summer vacation with a jog in the sunshine. “Poor guy.”

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