FALMOUTH, Maine — Sallie Gardner in Falmouth had some rare visitors in her backyard Friday, a family of deer that included a piebald deer.
Piebalds, also referred to as leucistic deer, suffer from a recessive genetic trait condition found in less than 1 percent of white-tailed deer, according to BuckManager.com.
In addition to lacking consistent pigment throughout their bodies, which results in splotches of white and brown and a diminished camouflage, piebalds' condition also puts them at risk for deformities such as bowing of the nose, short legs, arching spine and short lower jaws.
In 2017, a woman in Freeport took video of a piebald deer.
Jennifer Archer said she and her passenger Megan initially spotted the animal as they were about to use the on-ramp to I-295 in Freeport.
Archer said they pulled over, and it wasn't long before another woman pulled up behind them and called 911. She was convinced it was a goat they were seeing.
"[She thought] that someone had lost their pet goat, so she wanted to alert the authorities," Archer said. "No matter how many times we told her it was a deer … not a goat."
Archer called the sighting "a blessing," and said it's all her and her friends and family had been talking about all day.