Photo provided by Jeannie Bourne
Albino deer, such as this one spotted several times recently in the Bethlehem area, are a one in 100,000 occurrence, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
Village resident Jeannie Bourne got a long-awaited photo last week when she snapped a picture of what she believes is a true albino deer in her backyard.
Jim Crum, wildlife biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, said true albinism is "uncommon" among deer - about one in every 100,000. Albinism, which affects nearly every species of animal, including humans, is characterized by a lack of pigment, said Gary Sharp of the WVDNR.
The local deer's antlers and coat are completely white, and only its nose, the inside of its ears and eyes are pink. Crum said pink eyes are a good indicator of true albinism.
Bourne said she's spotted the snow white animal several times in recent months, and kept a camera in her kitchen in hopes of capturing an image of the deer. Last week, she and her husband Chuck were finishing dinner when they glimpsed it drinking from a pond on their property.
She quickly grabbed the camera and ran outside, not even stopping to put shoes on. After getting within 50 feet of the animal, she snapped a photo before the animal ran down the hill behind her house.
"I'm sure he'll be back because I have a bird feeder out," she said, noting she hopes to see him again "when his horns are a little bigger." The buck appears to be a six-point.
Sharp said he gets reports every year of albino deer, noting the same hunter killed one in two consecutive years in Boone County several years ago. He said the deer's lack of camoflauge make it easier for hunters to spot them.
According to Crum, albinism is caused by a recessive gene, and is more common in areas where the deer population is "closed" and a lot of inbreeding occurs among the animals.
"Genetically, that's not a good thing," he said.
http://www.news-register.net/page/conte ... ml?nav=515
by Gerald Musinsky
Most all every Native American tribe had some manner of "spirit" belief regarding albino animals. The Albino was protected by most Native American customs. Within the Northeastern Woodlands, Leni Lenape, Susquehannock, Iroquois (Six Nations) etc. One primary principle: The Albino was not to be hunted or killed. This taboo carried various curses.
According to Bear Two Arrows (Eastern Delaware), knowledgeable of owl medicine, the taboo and its various curses are known among more respectful contemporary hunters with or without Native American ancestry. He relates his own experience regarding an albino owl, and it's connection to owl spirit medicine. [Leni Lenape words for: white, Wapsu; owl, Gokhos.] If an albino squirrel were hunted and killed, the hunter would suffer loss of his hunting abilities. If an albino deer were killed (and without remorse) the hunter might later loose his life in a freak accident often involving his hunting or survival skills. The general belief in certain legends concerning various individual animals persists into the 20th century, many of which can be documented.
Among all tribes, the Albino animal had spirit connections, one of the strongest among the Plains tribe was the White Buffalo, a definite omen of great wisdom. The symbolic significance behind white or the quality of "whiteness" was not associated with purity as in Western culture but also wisdom and ancient knowledge of greater conceptual and spiritual magnitude.
Depending on the animal species involved and how it corresponds within the greater tribal cosmological context sometimes manifests the extent of the consequences when the taboo is broken. Belief in the "spirit nature" of albino animals and the ritual taboo of protection probably has its roots in the fact that an albino's ability to survive natural predators is greatly reduced by the lack of proper pigmentation for camouflage and keener vision to spot prey. These natural attributes render an albino "unfair" game for the Native hunter, or any hunter aware of the spiritual nature these animals might possess. Even the skin or hides of these animals must be treated with reverence.
Following the customs of these legends regarding the hunting and trapping restrictions were not in as much out of fear for the taboo but more so with respect to the higher aspect of Nature and the Creator.
but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?
truely amazing! Worlds largest heard of white deer!
I hope this land stays locked up!
My YouTube Channel :
when I was in like 4th grade we'd go on field trips to ogelbay zoo in wheeling - they had an albino deer there that was my friend lol she was bad ass, had pink eyes and everything. I haven't been there since 94 though so I figure things prolly dead by now. You could walk inside the pen with it and everything, such a great animal. Luckily I have never hunted in my entire life so I don't have to feel bad :p
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