We have seen many deer in our lifetime so far, and usually they all look the same. The ones we most often spot are tan or beige with white fuzzy tails. Or if we are really lucky, some of us have even seen an all white albino deer! But have you ever spotted a hybrid of the two? That’s exactly what a Piebald deer is. Read along to learn more about these cool animals!
What Does It Mean?
Piebald deer are named for those who have a strange or unusual pigmentation on their fur or bodies. The term is solely for their appearance, but many different types of animals can be called piebald, not just deer.
Piebald deer and other animals have this condition that is most often caused by some type of genetic mutation. Genetic mutation is a pretty broad term that could include any of the following distortions such as diseases, injuries, nutritional deficiencies, and developmental abnormalities.
Even though being categorized as a Piebald deer means they have some sort of abnormality, these deer look very unique and pretty cool! Deer tend to have randomized white patches as Piebalds, but a neat fact to know is that it actually is based on a pattern. They can either have pigment on their joints, pigment on their feet, rounded random spots, or larger areas of patches.
Disadvantages of Piebaldism
It is easy to understand that if a deer is a Piebald, it is more likely to stand out from the rest. This fact and others could create problems for deer in terms of maintaining their health and safety. If we can spot them, that means other animals can spot them easily. They are less camouflaged than others, and if an animal is preying on them, their safety might be in danger. Another disadvantage is that Piebalds are commonly linked to lower levels of fitness. They tend to have curved spines and generally do not survive or reproduce well compared to regular Whitetail deer.
Have You Seen One?
Did you know that Piebald deer have been spotted right here in Maryland! Although the percentage of Piebald deer is very low, the likelihood of seeing them in an isolated population is a little bit higher. Keep an eye out and you may see one of these unique creatures near you!
At Shumaker Animal Control, we care about the well-being of all animals while taking care of your animal removal needs. We are a family-owned business that has ample experience in dealing with all sorts of animals. It is important to us that our trapping and control methods are humane and we release these animals back into a comfortable environment.