A Wisconsin father and his 5-year-old son woke up Thursday morning to find two white baby deer in their backyard.
“He was all excited,” Mike Bartelme told TheBlaze of his son’s reaction to seeing the two animals. “Then he goes, 'I thought they were statues, Dad.'”
He adds that the deer were grazing in the family’s yard in Platteville, Wisconsin, for up to 10 minutes before running away with their mother, whose fur coat was a brown color.
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Bartelme had heard earlier this week that the albino fawns were roaming near the area and other parts of town where sightings have been reported. But he did not think they would come to his own yard.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says that local deer populations often grow rapidly because they seem to have more twins than a single fawn.
Buckmasters, a website dedicated to deer hunting, notes that only one in 100,000 deer are born with albinism. It is not clear if the deer Bartelme saw were partial albinos or pure albinos, which have light-colored eyes and hooves.
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According to The Tennessean, the Tennessee General Assembly voted in 2001 to ban killing or possessing albino deer. Other states that have made it illegal to harvest albino deer include Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Photo Credit: Michael Bartelme/Facebook