New Brunswick

Albino deer? Llama? What the heck is this thing?

Exactly what was this creature Emily Jeffries filmed in Marysville?

Province's deer biologist has the answers

Piebald deer In Marysville


5 years ago
Emily Jeffries captured this footage of a piebald (white) deer in the Fredericton neighbourhood of Marysville. 0:24

With snow on the way one deer will find it a little easier to hide. A white deer has been filmed in the Fredericton neighbourhood of Marysville.

The footage, taken by tipster Emily Jeffries, shows the white deer foraging with its darker relatives.

While there was some confusion around the CBC newsroom, at least one person thought it was a llama, Joe Kennedy, the province's deer biologist, said it is a deer but "the question is whether it's an albino deer or not."

After carefully analyzing the video, Kennedy gave his opinion that the deer is not an albino one.

"From the images that I see in this video, it seems that there's some colouration, some brown colouration around the deer's head, the ears. So it doesn't seem to me like it's a perfect albino deer," said Kennedy.

The deer is what is called a piebald deer, which can appear to be albino but have non-albino traits.

"Piebald animals normally show some of the albino traits, but also mixed in with regular colourations," said Kennedy.

Not as rare, but not everywhere

While the deer isn't as rare as an albino one would be, Kennedy estimates there may be one or two albino deer in New Brunswick, they are still quite rare.

"We're looking at our deer population of just under 60,000 deer. So maybe there might be a few hundred piebald deer in New Brunswick," said Kennedy.

Luckily for this deer, hunting season is over because there is no prohibition on shooting white deer, whether piebald or albino.

"These deer are considered fair game," said Kennedy.

"It's up to the hunter whether they would want to harvest a piebald deer or albino deer."

There are some differences between a piebald and regular deer. Kennedy said piebalds are stockier with shorter legs. Kennedy said there's one feature that makes him certain the alabaster animal is a deer, and not something else.

"The white tail as it's running off. It's a very characteristic white tail. That's a whitetail deer," said Kennedy.

Whitetail deer, llama, perhaps something else entirely? Watch the video below and judge for yourself.