Friday, November 13, 2009

White deer hind caught on camera in Scotland

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The hind's location has been kept secret to protect it against poachers

A rare white deer hind has been filmed by a wildlife cameraman for the BBC Landward programme.

The animal's location in the central Highlands has been kept secret in an effort to protect it from poachers and trophy hunters.

Cameraman Philip Lovel said the colouration was caused by a genetic condition that reduces the pigment in hair and skin.

Last year, a white stag was spotted on the west coast of the Highlands.

Mr Lovel said of the hind: "This white deer is very rare.

"I know of only one other wild white red deer at present in Scotland.

"Unfortunately their rarity can make them a target for poaching trophy-hunters, especially the stags."

'A secret'

It was thought the hind was 10-years-old and deer stalkers have said her colour has got lighter with age.

Last February, a white stag was observed on the west coast of the Highlands.

The animal had been seen with other red deer by a member of the John Muir Trust, which kept its location a secret to protect it from poachers.

White deer are often mistakenly thought to be albinos.

Their unusual appearance is caused by a condition called leucism.

Unlike albinos who characteristically have red eyes, deer with leucism have normal colouring in their eyes.

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