Well-Known Albino Deer Found Dead in Montana

by Lauren Boisvert
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(Photo by Michael Crowley/Getty Images)

A beloved albino deer who lived in Billings, Montana for at least the last 10 years, if not longer, was found dead on Oct. 30. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks believes it died of natural causes.

Albino deer are rare in the wild, but according to MFWP official Chrissy Webb, albino deer have been spotted within Billings city limits many times for about 20 years. This particular doe was beloved by the community and had become a bit of a symbol of Billings.

“It sounded like it was sort of becoming a mascot of the neighborhood, so I understand people’s connection to it,” Webb told KTVQ. Many Billings residents were saddened to see the post on social media announcing the doe’s death on Sunday. Apparently, someone found her in a ravine with her head removed. Many people thought the doe was killed by humans, but MFWP didn’t think so, despite the head removal. A game warden did go to the site and investigate the death.

“As far as our warden investigated, there weren’t any signs of foul play or illegal activity,” said Webb. Most likely, the deer died of natural causes and old age. Most wild deer live to be about 5 to 7 years old. The head was found nearby in the ravine, and according to the doe’s teeth, she was over 10 years old.

“I do think this specific deer was probably a little bit protected,” said Webb, “because it lived really close to the urban center of Billings.”

Albino Deer Named Ole Caney Recently Made Return to Tennessee Town

Late in October, a beloved albino deer named Ole Caney made his triumphant return to Chapel Hill, Tennessee. He was hit by a car and died last November. No, he didn’t come back from the grave in time for Halloween. Instead, the town had his body preserved.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency broke the news that Ole Caney had died last November. But, instead of treating the body like any normal roadkill, the agency had Ole Caney preserved in a full-body mount. Upon finding the body, the agency realized how special this deer was. They went with Wilson’s Wildlife Artistry, a taxidermist out of Crossville, TN. According to TWRA, the buck was about 8 and a half years old, and many Chapel Hill residents had fond memories of encounters with this rare animal.

There was a petition to bring Ole Caney back to his hometown. Working with State Representative Todd Warner, the town of Chapel Hill was able to bring Ole Caney home. And there he’ll stay, right outside of Chapel Hill Town Hall. There, residents can visit Ole Caney whenever they want. An overall happy ending to a not-so-ideal situation for Ole Caney.

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