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Purple Squirrel Puzzles Pa. Couple

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A couple from central Pennsylvania says they found a purple squirrel in their backyard.

Percy and Connie Emert of Jersey Shore trapped the squirrel and took photographs.

Connie Emert says she saw it first and her husband didn't initially believe her. She says people suspect it's been dyed, but she has no idea why it's purple.

Henry Kacprzyk, curator at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, says he's seen albino and black squirrels but never a purple one.

He says some animals can take on the color of the food they eat, such as flamingos which are pink because of their diet of shrimp. However, in this case, he believes the squirrel must have gotten in contact with some sort of dye.

In 2008, The Telegraph newspaper reported on a purple squirrel near a school in the United Kingdom. People theorized that squirrel got into printer cartridges.

The Pennsylvania squirrel has a Facebook page, where someone from Minnesota posted a photograph of a purple squirrel she says she found in her yard.

An meteorologist questioned whether the Pennsylvania squirrel may have gotten into a port-a-potty.

Someone else jokingly posted on that the squirrel must have robbed a bank and the dye pack exploded.

The Emerts released the squirrel back into the wild on Tuesday.

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