A Piebald White-tailed Deer

Running an errand recently, I sighted a small herd of White-tailed deer that included a rare single piebald.  Piebald deer have a coloration pattern of white and brown, similar to a pinto pony.  Sometimes they appear almost entirely white.

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Piebaldness occurs due to genetic variations and not due to parasites or illness.

Contrary to popular belief, a piebald deer is not a cross between a normal White-tailed deer and an albino.  An albino deer has pink eyes, a pink nose, and pinkish hooves, whereas a piebald deer has normal brown eyes and nose with black hooves like the normal White-tailed.

 

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Though rare, piebald deer are more common than the white, albino, or the extremely rare melanistic (black) deer.  Scientists say that less than one percent of White-tailed deer in a herd carry the genetic defect, and fewer yet exhibit the piebald traits.

This is a new wildlife sighting for me, so you know I was thrilled and had to share!

 

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