(Photo: Heath Pacha via KCCI)
No, this deer wasn't scared white by the hunter sitting in a tree stand only 15 feet away from it -- it was born this way.
According to KCCI-TV, Heath Pacha of Long Grove, Iowa, spotted the creature -- which is white (not albino) and has odd antler growth on its left side -- earlier this month while in his stand. But it wasn't the first time. He told the local news station that he's seen it frequently on his farm.
Pacha couldn't kill the animal because deer that are mostly white are protected within the state. According to the DNR, this law was passed in the 1980s after a white deer was shot. The DNR stated that white-tailed deer that are predominately white all over are rare but the sightings still occur every year.
The DNR posted this most recent photo on its Facebook page asking followers to caption it. Here are a few of those captions:
- Casper the friendly deer ... -- Drew Koenig
- Ghosts of Xmas past. -- Randy Wellner
- What do you mean I don't blend in? -- Ryan Wilcox
- I sure hope it snows soon. -- Brian McKee
- You look like you've seen a ghost. -- Susan Helms- Hankemeier
Last year, a white white-tailed deer was hit by a car and killed on 1-80 in the state.
Doug Serjeant, a Washington-man working in the equine industry for more than 30 years, told TheBlaze the coloration of this deer could be the result of inbreeding. The improperly formed horn, Sergeant said, indicates a compromised immune system as it relates to the animal's optic nerve and pituitary gland. With these issues, Sergeant said the deer probably has liver problems and he expects it wouldn't live long.
This story has been updated to include more information.