Caught on Camera: Extremely rare piebald white-tailed deer in Florida

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Piebald white-tailed deer caught on camera. CREDIT: FWC / Photo by Ethan Lundberg

Florida wildlife officials posted a picture of a deer that’s so rare it even appeared like it was wearing a personal coat of camouflage.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Ethan Lundberg sent a picture of a piebald white-tailed deer while he was out on a paddling trip.

Piebaldism is a recessive genetic trait that’s so rarely found in the wild it occurs in less than 2% of deer. Abnormal colorations are the effect of the rare genetic trait.

Since the piebald gene is recessive in nature, both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed on to the children or fawn in this case.

This particular deer appears to have a splotched coat of white fur where you would expect to see brown fur, giving it somewhat of a spotted appearance.

While this deer appears to have a significant portion of its would-be brown fur as white, that’s not always the case.

“The abnormal coat coloration can range from a single small patch of white fire to covering much of the body,” the FWC Research post says.

FWC notes that a potentially unfortunate consequence of coat color genetic mutations is a “Roman nose,” shortened lower jaw, curved backbone and short/deformed legs.

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