White Deer In Danger As Seneca Army Depot Gets Ready For Sale

The white deer that live at the Seneca Army Depot could see their lives come to an end. That is the concern by residents in the area since news of the depot being put up for sale was released. It is the depot’s fence that has protected the lives of the rare white deer that live in the area. Without the fence, hunters would be allowed to hunt on the land. The next deer season could see these rare animals facing down guns held by hunters.

According to Daily Mail, the white deer developed naturally on the site. The white coloring of the deer is caused by a “genetic quirk.” These are not albino deer. Albino would mean they lack pigment completely, and that is not the case with these deer.

The sale of the Seneca Army Depot has not started yet, but local officials in Romulus, New York, plan to open things up for bids in December. Residents are fighting to save the white deer in the area before the local officials can even start their sale of the land next month. Daily Mail shared some of the ways residents are working to save the land and the deer that live on it.

“A group of residents dedicated to saving the animals has proposed turning the old depot into a world-class tourist attraction to show off both its rich military history and its unusual wildlife. The Nature Conservancy also is looking at options for preserving the largely undeveloped landscape. Dennis Money, of Seneca White Deer Inc, said: ‘When we ran bus tours on a limited basis between 2006 and 2012, we had people come from all over the United States to see the deer. People are enchanted by them.’ “

What has kept the white deer safe for so long? It is the 24 miles of fences around the perimeter of the depot. The fence went up back in 1941 when the Seneca Army Depot was built. It is the fencing going up that caused the deer to be stuck on the land in the first place. A group of white tailed deer was trapped on the land once the fence surrounding the area. The deer were never moved.

The Los Angeles Times shared the dangers these rare white deer face if the Seneca Army Depot is sold and the fence comes down next month.

“In the wild, white deer are short-lived, being easy targets for predators and hunters looking for a rare trophy. Small herds of white fallow deer roam protected sites in Ireland and on the campus of the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, but the Seneca Army Depot has the largest known population of white white-tailed deer.”

Currently, there are nearly 200 white deer on the land. They are joined by 600 brown deer. Residents in the area love the deer. People do come to see them. The local store even sells a candy treat called “white deer poop” that is a mix of white chocolate, almonds and cranberries. Lisette Wilson, owner of the local farm store, shared her own concern for the white deer in the area if the army sells the depot.

The Seneca Army Depot was shut down in 2000 after nearly 60 years in service. There is no word of potential interest in buying the property yet.

Have you ever seen a white deer for yourself? What do you think of this potential sale putting the white deer of the Seneca Army Depot at risk?

[Image via Shutterstock]