Maine’s purple deer was put down and tests are underway to figure out the reason for its appearance

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Photo pulled from WGME’s website, Credit to Tony Gedaro

Back in September, a wildlife photographer spotted a buck in Maine that was looking rather unusual.
The deer had a mass hanging from its jaw and was purple from its face down to its chest.

“We’ve seen somewhat similar conditions, but cases like this are rarely identical to others, and there are a lot of possibilities. [It’s] impossible to know for sure without sending samples to a lab,” Nathan Bieber with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildfire stated.

The department made the decision to put the deer down this month.
Originally, they planned on just monitoring the deer stating that it seemed in “decent health,” but later they changed their mind as they saw a decline.

Tests showed that the buck was experiencing muscle wasting and reduced fat deposits, as well as hair loss and swollen lymph nodes. More tests are needed, but a lab stated that the symptoms align with a bacterial infection called “Bullwinkle syndrome.”

Story via Gabriella Santa Cruz with WGME