Rare deer is spot­ted in wildlife agency’s grounds

The Herald - - NEWS -

A RARE white deer has been spot­ted graz­ing out­side the of­fices of a Gov­ern­ment agency that pro­tects wildlife.

The ghost-like fal­low deer buck was seen by a po­lice of­fi­cer stand­ing next to the en­trance to the mod­ern build­ing which houses Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage’s (SNH) on an in­dus­trial es­tate in Newton Ste­wart, Dum­fries and Gal­loway.

It is thought to have leu­cism, an un­usual con­di­tion whereby pig­men­ta­tion cells fail to de­velop prop­erly.

This can re­sult in rare cases in the an­i­mals turn­ing com­pletely white, leav­ing peo­ple to mis­take them for al­bi­nos.

Of­fi­cer Gra­ham Forsyth made the dis­cov­ery while re­turn­ing home from work and took a pic­ture of it out­side the of­fice.

He said: “I was driv­ing home from work and as I passed the SNH of­fice I saw a cou­ple of deer to my left.

“I slowed down and there was a pure white one right in front of me. It stood out from all the oth­ers.

“I stopped the car and it stood long enough for me to take a pic­ture. It was quite happy to pose for me be­fore it saun­tered off.”

The Gov­ern­ment-funded body cares for the na­tion’s wildlife, habi­tats, land­scapes and nat­u­ral beauty. The build­ing also houses the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency.

An SNH spokes­woman said: “White fal­low deer are an un­usual sight, es­pe­cially a buck like this – we are de­lighted to see it feed­ing in our grounds.

“White ex­am­ples turn up in a range of species in­clud­ing squir­rels, black­bird, fox and var­i­ous ma­rine mam­mals, as well as deer.”

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