Beloved squirrel reappears at U of I campus after untimely demise: 'We loved Pinto Bean'

stuffed piebald squirrel on tree branch
Pinto Bean the squirrel, in preserved form. Photo credit Joseph Lee Spencer

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Some students at the University of Illinois were in mourning last fall when an unusual squirrel was hit by a car and killed.

Now, the squirrel is back on campus.

The students named the squirrel Pinto Bean, and it was something of a celebrity on the Urbana-Champaign campus. The animal was piebald, meaning it had distinctive patches of gray and white fur.

Students often posted pictures on social media, and the squirrel even had a Wikipedia page.

But Pinto Bean’s life came to an end last October, apparently killed by a vehicle. Some were grief-stricken when the critter died.

“That little guy made everyone’s days a little brighter,” student Annika Govil told The Daily Illini, which ran a tribute at the time.

It was decided by students that the late Pinto Bean would return to campus.

And the squirrel has, months after being taken to a taxidermist. Arrangements were made through the Illini Wildlife and Conservation Club on campus.

“We loved Pinto Bean, we were invested in it,” Marrina White, a senior and the club president, told The Daily Illini.

She was unsure whether Pinto Bean was male or female.

The squirrel was mounted on a tree branch and is now on display in the Forbes Natural History Building.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Joseph Lee Spencer