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Great photo, but someone's kidding

Lost, stolen or strayed? This delightful photo of an albino whitetail fawn has been lost in cyberspace. The little deer may have been stolen from its owner. It seems to have strayed to Stanley, North Dakota; the Bolivar Peninsula or Glen Rose, Texas; West Liberty, Kentucky, somewhere in the wilds of Wisconsin, and countless websites.

We joined the search for this elusive pet, but can't track it down.

At one stage, we thought it might have been found in Conroe, Texas, after reading this on a pets' website:

This little Albino Whitetail Deer fawn was found in Conroe, Texas by Johnny and Kathy Maddox, they in turn called the game warden to have the deer examined and sent to a place for rehabilitation. It is such a 'freak of nature', that only 1 in more than a million are even born.

So we emailed Jim Fredricks, editor of the Conroe newspaper, the Montgomerie County Courier. He told us the paper had investigated the report, but had been unable to confirm it.

Then we read what sounded like a convincing tale that Alicia (aka Angel in Disguise), had posted on a moblog (mobile phone bloggers') site:

(Sent to me via email from family)

Almost hit by two cars, only hours old, we rescued what we thought was a goat who had wondered (sic) onto the road. It was an Albino Whitetail Deer. Such a 'freak of nature', that only 1 in more than a million are ever born. We took the deer into our home, fed it a bottle of food and it tolerated the food just fine. After that, this little timid and curious creature followed us all around the house, seemingly interested in all that we did and was doing great.

However, we knew we couldn't keep it so we called a close family friend, that happens to be our Game Warden. He came right over and took the deer. We got a lot of pics as we knew it was something we may never see again. It was just so very cool. Maybe he will make it in captivity somewhere and be appreciated. I hope so. So rare... Sure would've liked to have kept that beautiful creature.

The photo obviously had wide appeal, as it attracted a long string of comments, including these:

  • That was very nice of you to shelter this little lost creature of the forest (forest or no forest it is lost). Lets hope that it can survive until it can be released again. - George.
  • Looks delicious! Good thing someone caught this lil fella.. wouldn't last two minutes in the wild... - Keystone.
  • What a cutie. I love this little one! - Megjersey.

Then Alicia entered a second message: "He is beautiful! They don't know what happened to the mom. They looked all over for her but never found her."

We couldn't find Alicia's email address, but we did find pictures of her house in Hickory, North Carolina. We googled Hickory, and found it's known as the gateway to the North Carolina Great Smokey Mountains. Deer country, perhaps.

Finally, we found another string of messages on a magazine's community board:

"Didn't someone on here - some time in the last month or so - say they found this albino fawn?" asked Putt-Putt Operator from McCandless, Pennsylvnia. "The same pictures showed up on snopes.com. Something smells funny..."

T20, from Rough and Ready, NE California, replied, "I am here to tell ya that that albino deer was caught (rescued from traffic) by my cousin Velita's son, Mark, in Wisconsin. The following is pure B.S.

This little Albino Whitetail Deer fawn was found in Conroe, Texas by Johnny and Kathy Maddox."

To which PPO responded: "T-20 - get your relatives to shoot them an email and clear the story up if they have time - seems like they could use it. You can't put anything on the internet anymore without someone else taking credit for it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was pulled off this page by someone."

And that, my friends, is as far as we've gone in our search for the cute little albino whitetail fawn.

We seek him here, we seek him there.
We sceptics seek him everywhere.
Is he in Maine, or perhaps Cape Horn,
That demned elusive albino fawn.
- With apologies to Hungarian-British novelist, Baroness Emmuska Orczy,
best remembered as the author of The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905)

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Story first posted April 2006

Copyright 2006

Eric Shackle

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