Saturday, December 16, 2006

White whitetails on the Internet!

By now I am a jaded internet hand-- I take all photos with a grain of skepticism, even pictures of what seemed to be a perfectly normal and cute albino whitetail fawn-- especially since it came with a story attached. I checked out Snopes, which catches hoaxesand Snope wasn't sure where the picture came from. You can see the pictures there of a decidedly white fawn with red eyes and a pink nose. Another source casts doubt on the story, specifically.

It seems nobody is saying those pictures are doctored. Albino deer do exist, along with piebald and melanistic (black) whitetail deer. However, the chances of finding a fawn by accident is low, especially when you consider that there are whitetail farms in Minnesota and elsewhere in the North where capitivity can lead to inbreeding and easy discovery (and photographing) of albino fawns.

Of course, white deer do exist, but not albinos. Those deer seem like they may be genetically a very pale shade of cremello, similar to horses.

The Ghost bear aka "Spirit Bear"identified on Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, Canada was established by DNA tests and study to be actually a very pale brown-- the fur darkened slightly in summer and whitened in winter, as this cool photography shows, they're really a very pale "cinnamon" phase of black bear. During summer, some of those bears' backs can turn bright orange in response to the sun! More yellow, reddish, gray or orange bears also occur on the island along with those white and black bears.
Since we're on a roll, let's not forget white buffalo which are supposed to herald peace. The first Miracle was born in 1994 and died 2004. This present Miracle was born in 2006, on the same farm.
This link connects you to various First Nations (American Indian) legends of the White Buffalo.

It is ironic to hear this optimistic contrast to the daily war headlines. I was just reading The Sandbox this morning-- direct reporting from the soliders actually fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maybe part of the key to peace is to get people to believe it is possible.


1 comment:

nate4481 said...

Albino deer do infact exist. The ones on that page look to be more of whitedeer than albino though. They are extremely rare and that infact is a real picture. Here are some more white deer roaming upstate NY. Very cool video anyway.