On a recent trip to Newark Valley via Route 26, I spotted a bunch of cars pulled to the side of the road and, well, curiosity got the best of me.

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I craned to see what everyone was getting out of their cars to look at and let out a little gasp. There in front of my eyes was something I’ve not once seen before in my life – an all-white deer.

No wonder cars were parked on the side of the road with cameras facing the field. The magnificent creature was in a field not too far from the Town of Union line on Route 26, just minding its own business and munching on vegetation.

I turned my car around and hurried to snap some photos before the beautiful deer took off, my hands shaking at my good fortune of spotting such a rare animal.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor
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While locals refer to this deer as an albino deer, I don't know if anyone has gotten close enough to find out if it truly is. It may be, but in most cases, white deer are a result of a condition called “leucism” which is pigment loss; therefore, the deer is not actually albino. Leucism is a recessive genetic trait found in only about one percent of all white-tail deer. It is also found in mammals, including humans.

On the other hand, true albino deer have completely white hide along with pink eyes, nose, and hooves. According to NC Wildlife, true albinism is only prevalent in one in 30,000 deer. Most white deer are called “piebald deer” and are rare in their own right.

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