This rat with a fluffy tail was captured in Pennsylvania. You know, one of the other states that is being riddled by oil and gas drilling. While folks have been offering hypotheses on the cause of this coloration, it comes down to this. One of the things that can cause this coloration, Tyrian purple, is a bromide compound.
The really scary part is that chlorine and bromine can combine to form compounds called brominated trihalomethanes which have been linked to birth defects and cancer. Guess what occurs during the fracturing process? When they pump the chemicals into the rock to release the gas, it creates wastewater. (My cess pools) Take another guess what they have found in the wastewater...high levels of bromine and chlorine.
Scientists have taken a sample of the purple squirrels fur so that they can run some tests. In the meantime, I'm just hoping we don't end up with purple quail and deer wandering the ranch. Hey, does that mean our fish could be contaminated, too? I'm getting my water tested, again.