Montoursville’s new resident, an albino deer


Montoursville, PA-- A new resident of Montoursville has become the talk of the town this summer. An albino white-tailed deer was first spotted trying to blend-in with Lycoming County’s deer community in June.

The deer’s unique white coat is a rare, natural genetic trait called albinism. Albinism is a recessive trait found in many animals and humans. Albino animals, like the Montoursville deer, inherit the albinism trait from both parents, instead of a gene for normal coloration. Albino animals do not produce color pigments for skin, hair, and tissue which is why they appear white.

It is really, really rare for a deer to be albino. It is estimated that only 1 in every 20 thousand deer are albino. Sometimes deer can have white patches of fur. These deer, called Piebald, are more common and studies estimate that 1 in every 1,000 deer is Piebald.

Hunter might want to think twice before killing a white deer. Many people believe killing a white deer can bring bad luck and misfortune.

White deer have captivated people for centuries. Most myths and legends depict the white deer as something to be respected and impossible to catch.

In 2012, the killing of an albino stag sparked uproar in Leland, Wisconsin. The stag was part of a small population of white deer in the area which were treasured by the locals. The town’s residents had agreed not to hunt any of the white deer. After a hunter from out-of-town shot the white stag, which was the third member too the Leland white deer herd to be killed, an organization called Protect the White Deer was formed to ensure the safety and preservation of the rare animals.

In Montoursville, residents seem to have grown fond of their new neighbor. Sightings of the albino deer have become a source of excitement for both children and adults.