Rare albino deer spotted near Sacramento sanitation plant

By Daniel Uria   |   Jan. 13, 2017 at 2:50 PM

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Sacramento residents have reported sightings of a rare snow white deer near a local water treatment plant.

Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District has tracked the albino deer among a pack of 12-15 black-tailed mule deer on its trail camera since September.

Flood waters in the Bufferlands surrounding the sanitation plant have forced the rare deer back into the open, according to KXTV.

"We first saw the deer in September, so we think it was born in the spring or fall," natural resource supervisor for Regional Sanitation Brian Young said.

Most white deer get their coloring from a recessive genetic trait known as leucism, but Young believes the deer is a true albino.

"Just based on the lack of pigmentation and the pinkness you see in the ears and around the eyes leads us to believe this is a true albino," he told the Sacramento Bee. "It's pretty amazing. It's just a chance occurrence."

The deer is not endangered by human contact as the Bufferland is not open to the public, but it's light coloring makes it a target for natural predators.

"One thing about albino deer is their life span isn't that long," Young said. "That's because they are conspicuous to predators and hunters."

The Bufferland's staff continue to monitor the development of the small deer population and hope the albino can live a long life.

"We are hoping that this guy lives, matures and reproduces," Young said.

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