ATLANTA — Georgia wildlife officials says a rare ‘unicorn’ deer has been spotted in the state.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division has received several reports of piebald fawn and deer over the past few weeks.
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Piebald deer are uncommon and only happens in 1% of the deer population. Only true albino and melanistic deer are rarer.
“Let us know in the comments if you spot a unicorn out there!” the department wrote on Facebook.
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Piebald coloring is a genetic mutation in deer that causes fewer pigmentated cells.
A fawn can only have the mutation if both parents have the recessive gene to pass down, according to the DNR.
The mutation can lead to serious abnormalities for the animals including: dorsal bowing of the nose, short legs, curving or arching of the spine, deviation of limb joints, overbite and malformation of internal organs.
Wildlife experts say the condition is mild for most adult piebald deer; however, deer that have more pronounced abnormalities die shortly after birth.
If you spot a piebald fawn or deer, you do not need to contact the Georgia DNR to report it.
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