Rare mule deer died from Chronic Wasting Disease

Melanistic Deer

An extremely rare melanistic mule deer nicknamed Coal by Utah residents died from chronic wasting disease, state biologists said Monday.

KSL News reports that it is the 15th confirmed case of the disease reported in Utah since July 1, 2019.

A melanistic mule deer coat is caused by an overproduction of the pigment melanin. It occurs in around 1 in 2 million deer.

Coal was found dead on Dec. 17, and there were clear signs that the deer had died from chronic wasting disease.