Two albino deer showed up outside a post office in Wake Forest, North Carolina this week.
The pair were part of a herd of about a half-dozen deer that were spotted romping near the Northern Wake Senior Center, across from the Wake Forest Post Office.
Albino Deer Turn Up in Multiple States
Albino deer are very rare, WRAL reports. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, just one in 30,000 deer turn out albino. They have totally white fur and pink eyes, nose and hooves.
But just last month, another one turned up in northern Wisconsin. A resident of Boulder Junction managed to photograph the buck in her backyard.
The Vilas County Sheriff’s Office said it was “an incredible sight,” according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The resident, Tracy Weese, referred to the deer as “his majesty.”
In Wisconsin, albino deer are protected by law and cannot be hunted.
A Better Chance of Survival
Also, in October, an albino buck appeared in Raleigh, North Carolina. A local resident said the deer was a frequent visitor to the area between the Beltline and Capital Boulevard.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission wildlife biologist Falyn Owens told WTVD that two genetic mutations exist that can cause a deer to be white. They are piebaldism and albinism.
Unlike albino deer, piebald deer usually just have white splotches instead of an all-white coat, and they have dark eyes. The eyes of albinos are red or pink.
Piebald deer also tend to have skeletal deformities such as short legs and a curved spine. That’s because the mutation that leads to piebaldism happens on a gene tied to skeletal development.
Of course, there are downsides to albinism, too. Albino deer are at a disadvantage in rural environments, where they stand out more to predators against the backdrop.
But Owens said that in an urban environment, there may be fewer predators hanging around… as well as more humans declaring the albino deer majestic.