Scientists at the University of Georgia Deer Research Facility in Athens got a rare surprise when a doe gave birth to a piebald fawn on Thursday. Researchers said that the piebald baby deer was one of two fawns delivered by the doe, and may have a different father than its normal-looking sibling.
Piebaldism is a rare condition in animals that is often mistaken for albinism. Piebald deer usually exhibit random brown and white coloration with splotches of black or pink skin underneath. Just like albino animals, piebald creatures rarely survive long in the wild. In addition to being a prime target for predators, piebald animals are often subject to a host of deformities. This young deer is no exception.
The first thing you’ll probably notice in the video below is the fawn’s gnarled legs, which are bent at odd angles and will likely mean that even if the fawn survives into adulthood, it will never move at the speed of other deer. The unfortunate animal also suffers from a severe overbite and scoliosis.
These deformities do not occur in every piebald deer—there are some who, despite their coloration, are in every way a mirror image of a normal whitetail. Although incredibly rare, piebald, white, and albino animals have been documented surviving into adulthood in the wild and even gathering into groups. A herd of about 200 white deer still roam in an abandoned Army depot in Seneca County, New York.
Hat tip to the Quality Deer Management Association for sharing this video with us.