A picture has gone viral on social media with what appears to be a “new species,” but it may be less complicated than that. 

If you have seen this animal, you probably thought to yourself, “Do my eyes deceive me?” And the answer is: no! This is a real animal. 

Where Was The Animal Spotted?

It appears the first time the animal was spotted (or at least photographed) was in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and it has since been spotted by others up to a few hours away – even in New York state. 

What Does The Animal Look Like?

This animal looks like a black squirrel with a white-tipped tail, which is why many people are calling it a “squnk,” because it is – what many people would think – a squirrel-skunk hybrid would look like. 

But is that what it is?

Take a look at the picture below.

What Is This Animal?

It’s somewhat impossible for a skunk and a squirrel to breed because they are so genetically dissimilar that it would prove to be quite a challenge. 

Based on some of the scientific research of evolution and hybrid animals, animal experts suggest that it is more likely that the “squnk” is actually an eastern gray squirrel that descends from a gray squirrel and a fox squirrel breeding.  

These are considered to be eastern gray squirrels with the white tip tail, and they actually seem to be common in Canada, according to Orkin Canada, so your odds of seeing one with a white tail increase. The northern parts of New York state may get lucky around the border when it comes to spotting one.   

Are These Squirrels Rare?

Researchers have found that there is only about 1 black squirrel for every 10,000 squirrels in North America. Kind of sounds lucky to see one, if you ask me! 

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