Albino deer siblings frequent visitors to Franklin home

Published 9:39 am Friday, March 30, 2012


FRANKLIN—Franklin’s Bob Adkins for nearly a year has seen the comings and goings of two white-tailed albino deer born last spring.

Two albino deer with their mother in Franklin. -- Submitted | Bob Adkins

He initially spotted the white siblings as fawns with their mother, a brown deer. The siblings have pink eyes, a pink nose and cream-colored hooves.

Animal albinism is a recessive trait, said Aaron Proctor, district wildlife biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for the southeastern part of the state.

“Like any genetic trait, both parents have to be carriers,” Proctor said. “It doesn’t mean each parent needs to be an albino.”

Adkins believes the father is another albino he spotted in 2010.

“I’m assuming these are the kids. We spotted the two and watched them grow all summer,” he said.

Albinism is extremely rare in wild animals, Proctor said.

“I cover 12 counties and I hear about one or two deer killed a year that are pure albino with the pink nose and pink eyes,” he said. “Albino deer can have brownish tips on their hair, but the skin pigment is white or pink.”

Adkins appreciates the deer.

“You feel kind of blessed that you have the opportunity to see, not a freak, but something special in nature,” he said. “We are blessed in that area.”