Albino Deer on the Move

Albino Deer on the Move

Oct 15, 2013

Maybe the spotlight was too bright. Maybe the grass was greener. In any case, the albino deer, sighted regularly this summer near Solon, apparently pulled up roots and moved…few miles away.

The full sized deer, with pink inner ears, nose and eyes, has been spotted closer to North Liberty…AND nearby Interstate 380…as summer turned to fall. A truck driver reported leaning on his torn to scare the deer back across the fence, from the shoulder of I-380, just north of North Liberty. Several other sightings came in late September, placing her in a field between the interstate segment and nearby Highway 965.

The deer–without antlers so presumed a doe—had been appearing on many evenings, in a hay field along a county blacktop, west of Solon…near Lake Macbride State Park. She sometimes drew crowds of 10 to 15 people; who stopped on evening walks to watch feeding in the field. At one point, one of the viewers saw what might have been a fawn—regular colored—trotting past the white deer and into the nearby grass..

Wildlife biologists stake the odds of an albino deer at 1 in 100,000 or more. every few years, sightings of one are reported in Iowa. Each parent must carry the recessive gene and pass it along to the fawn. There is evidence that albinism in an animal carries with it a higher prospect of developing skin or eye ailments; which could shorten its life span.

As hunting seasons get underway, hunters are reminded. It is illegal to shoot a predominantly white, whitetail deer. Public outcry over a 1987 harvest of a white deer in central Iowa caused the Legislature to quickly enact the special protection.