A rare white-faced deer was born and then quickly abandoned by its mother in Michigan. The fawn’s white face is believed to have shocked the momma deer and caused a rapid erosion of maternal instincts. The young deer is about 2-weeks-old and has been named Dragon.
The rare white-faced deer was born at Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs, Michigan. While the white-faced deer is a rarity in the wild, the characteristic is reportedly even more unusual when the animal is born in captivity.
When a deer is born with a white face, it is referred to as a “piebald deer.” Because the fawn was abandoned by its mother, animal handlers at Deer Tracks Junction are now caring for the tiny and likely confused creature.
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Deer Tracks Junction owner Hillary Powell said that the coat of the white-faced deer is unique and could cause the animal problems if it was born in the wild. The white-face and light-colored body would make it difficult for the deer to hide from predators. The piebald deer also possesses a pink nose and blue eyes.
“Normally they have a black nose,” Hillary Powell said. “It’s actually a detriment in the wild because if they don’t have shade, their nose is very sensitive to the sun and can get sun burn.”
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The white-faced fawn’s mother may have recognized her baby’s inability to hide on an instinctual level, which led her to abandon the offspring thinking it would not survive. The mother stayed with the fawn for just a few hours after giving birth. Dragon appears to be handling becoming an orphan surprisingly well. The Deer Tracks Junction staffer said the fawn is prancing and frolicking around the facility just like all the other deer living on the grounds.
Dragon is currently being bottle fed. The overall deer population in Michigan is reportedly facing a challenge this summer. Chronic wasting disease reportedly “devastates” both deer and elk by negatively impacting their nervous system. The disease is not reportedly harmful to humans.
Deer Tracks Junction, which opened on June 3, will soon offer the public the opportunity to meet Dragon. Staffers are currently working with the white-faced deer to build up his strength before putting him out on display.
[Image via: Deer Tracks Junction via Grind TV]