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Pinto Bean's legacy continues on Campus

Updated: Apr 3

by Aliza Majid

The beloved Pinto Bean has made a reappearance at the University of Illinois campus and the squirrel is here to stay this time around.

The Forbes Natural History Building has become a second home to the fan favorite squirrel as he will live on as a taxidermy display in the building.

“The squirrel was offered to the Illinois Natural History Survey to basically allow it to come back to campus so that people can know that it is still here as part of the university,” Eric Shauber, the Director of the Illinois Natural History Survey said.

The famous squirrel gained popularity through social media and took the community by storm due to its unique fur patterns that made it stand out from the others.

“In this case, we had an animal that was of interest in part because it has this unique coat color, the piebald coloration, that is due to a mutation. The mutation in this squirrel does not cause any harm to the animal as it is just a color pattern,” Shauber said.

This was until the squirrel was found dead in Oct. 8, 2022 which resulted in many students together and debating on how to uplift the squirrels legacy.

“At first I was kind of iffy about it because I've seen lots of botched type of animals being preserved.After seeing the photo, I think it turned out really great and it's a good opportunity for generations to come to learn about this type of stuff,” Marrina White, the President of the Wildlife Conservation Club said.

Shauber explains how the squirrel’s carcass was donated to the National History Survey and is currently being used for genetic analysis to examine the color pattern mutation of Pinto Bean.

The research will be incorporated into their mammal collection after further research is complete.

Courtesy of Joseph Spencer

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