A hunter in Slovenia has harvested a rare unicorn deer.
Yes, you read that right. The fabled creature appears to be as real as dirt. A unicorn deer has been discovered in Slovenia.
The deer, a roe buck, possessed an abnormality that caused its antlers to essentially grow together, forming one antler sticking out the top of its skull.
The lone antler is not the result of just losing one side of antlers from fighting or otherwise. This species of deer has antler traits very similar to whitetails in that only males grow antlers. Likewise, the males usually grow a fairly symmetrical set of antlers.
This animal’s condition is so uncommon that after authenticating the uni-antlered buck, scientist Bostjan Pokorny added that he had no personal experience of anything else like this in nature.
Pokorny explains, “In this species, only males grow antlers. In the case of this very untypical and interesting buck, both pedicles, which should be separated, grew up together in one large pedicle.”
Two of a kind
This “unicorn sighting,” while rare, is not unheard of. Take, for instance, the doe harvested earlier this year in the state of Washington. Hunter Amy Calkins took down what was essentially another unicorn deer.
This time, though, the cause was much different, as the whitetail harvested near Mt. Spokane was, in fact, a female. What caused the doe to grow a single antler is still uncertain.
The buck from Slovenia is thought to have lived an otherwise healthy, full life despite the antler abnormality. The deer lived for several years and was heavier than average in comparison to other Roe deer. And since female Roe deer select mates based on age and size, it is believed this buck was not disadvantaged in terms of mating since antlers are not needed in establishing dominance with other male roe deer.