Ted Rutherford has made a career out of taking aerial photos with his drone’s camera via his aptly named company, Ted’s Drone Service. The bulk of his business comes from homeowners who want to book his services to find a leak in their roof or to take before and after pictures after a remodel. But when a good friend called him recently after spotting an albino deer on their property, Ted quickly grabbed his drone and headed there to capture the rare animal before it took off into the forest.
How rare are albino deer in Indiana?
Before we delve too deeply into the rarity of these fascinating animals, it’s important to note that just because a deer has white fur, it doesn’t mean it’s an albino. According to Protect the White Deer, it’s more than just white fur.
These animals are typically identified by their pink nose and eyes—the result of blood vessels visible through the skin and clear eye lens. Light blue eyes can also indicate albinism.
Protect the White Deer goes on to say that both white deer and true albinos get their unique coat color from “different genes that affect different body processes.”
Back to how rare they are. Protect the white stag by quoting the book, White Deer: Spirits of the Forest by Wisconsin Northwoods naturalist John Bates, says they are very rare, with Bates noting that about one in 20,000 deer is born albino. Protect the White Deer also says some sources put that number closer to one in 30,000.
It’s hard to tell if the deer that Ted’s friend had on their property is a true albino or not. However, I’ve enlarged one of the photos Ted allowed me to be as narrow as possible without blurring it beyond recognition, and it appears (in my totally unprofessional opinion) that this particular deer has at least a pink nose (it is still hard to tell what color his eyes are).
View photos of possible albino deer from southern Indiana captured on camera
In all, Ted took about 10 photos of the animal before letting it go about its business. As you can see below, he managed to snap a few shots from high above showing how much it contrasts with the green of the plants that surround it, before getting quite close without scaring it.
I’m not only impressed by the pictures Ted was able to take, but also by the fact that the deer stood there long enough for him to take them. It doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by a flying, buzzing device taking its picture. Granted, I don’t own a drone or know much about them, so chances are Ted was able to hold the drone at a distance where it wouldn’t freak out the deer and zoomed in with the camera to make it appear like it was he can get close to it. Anyway, those pictures he was able to take are amazing! Here are a few more.
Of all the pictures Ted has taken, this last one might be my favorite. It appears the deer is headed back into the woods after its impromptu photoshoot, but pauses long enough to look over its shoulder one last time, as if it were some kind of runway model.
To prevent a crowd from turning up at his friend’s property to get their own look at this rare find, and to protect the animal itself from being the target of an impressive trophy, Ted decided to change the location of keeping these photos private. Luckily, as you can see, he managed to take several stunning photos that we can all use to appreciate this extremely rare creature.
[Sources: Ted’s Drone Services on Facebook / Protect the White Deer]
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