A trailcam mounted in the woods of northern Ontario has captured footage that provides a close look at a very rare creature. So infrequent and beautiful, capturing images of a piebald white-tailed deer is often compared with photographing a unicorn. White-tailed deer are very common throughout North America and capturing video of them on a trailcam is not difficult to do. But nature enthusiasts and hunters alike might go their entire life without ever seeing a live one. Tom, an avid outdoorsman has been stashing cameras in the woods for several years. He has captured amazing footage of deer, bears, lynxes, foxes, wolves, and even eagles. Although he has heard of a few sightings of piebald deer and he once saw one himself from a distance, he has never found one making an appearance in the thousands of hours of recordings that he has made. Piebald colouring results from a genetic abnormality that exists in some mammals and even snakes. It's a recessive trait, meaning that it can only surface when both parents carry the gene. This is extremely rare, occurring in less than 2% of the deer population. Often compared with albinism, both appear to be similar in some respects, but the difference can be readily determined by looking at the eyes of the animal. Albino deer will have pink eyes, pink noses, and pink hooves. They also have poor eyesight. Piebald deer will have brown eyes, brown noses, and brown hooves. Their visual capabilities are unaffected. Deformities in their organs and bone structure is also more common than in regularly pigmented animals. For this reason, piebald deer are less likely to survive to adulthood than other deer. Tom was shocked when he went through the footage on this occasion and he was thrilled to see such clear images of this fawn as it walked right past his camera. The trailcam is set to record intermittently and the footage that came before this video was also very fascinating. A doe with a pair of fawns makes an appearance a few seconds earlier. The doe appears to be in the company of three fawns. With no other deer in sight on this occasion, it is believed that this beautiful animal has triplets. This is quite rare among white-tailed deer. Twins are common enough, but for a doe to have triplets, the habitat and food availability must be ideal. Even with perfect conditions, a doe will bear a third fawn only 15 to 20% of the time. The odds of having a camera in the right place at the right time to capture close up video of a piebald fawn in a set of triplets is astronomical. In fact, photographs and video of such an occurrence is almost unheard of. Tom cannot believe his good fortune and he has shared the footage with his friends. He will continue to explore these woods and video the trails in an effort to capture more images of this beautiful deer.
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