piebald deer
Credit: Ethan Lundberg/Instagram

Florida Man Photographs Rare Piebald Deer

Piebaldism occurs in less than 2% of deer.

For once, a Florida man did something positive. Photographer Ethan Lundberg shared the image he took of a rare piebald deer while on a paddling trip with the state wildlife agency.

According to a social media post by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, piebaldism is a rare, recessive genetic trait that causes abnormal colorations, which occurs in less than 2% of deer. "Because this is a recessive genetic trait, both parents must carry the gene for it to be passed onto their offspring," the agency said.

FWCC explained that the abnormal coat coloration ranges from a single small patch of white fur to covering most of the body (as is seen in the photograph). Besides the color, there isn't much difference between a piebald deer and a typical deer, the agency said. However, the genetic code for coat color can impact other traits, such as giving the animal a "roman nose," shortened lower jaw, curved backbone, and short or deformed legs.