Rare white deer spotted in London, Ont. 0
At first glance, they looked like a pair of lost goats.
But it didn't take long for David Baert to realize the animals passing through his west London, Ont., farm weren't goats at all, but something much rarer.
Two pure white deer -- likely brothers -- spent about 10 minutes in Baert's west London backyard earlier this month.
"I thought it was very unusual," he said. "You don't normally see animals like that."
Legend has it that extremely rare white deer are symbols of good luck, the spirit world and peace.
Though there's no steadfast evidence that proves seeing a white deer will bring you any luck, they are very rare.
The chances of a deer being pure white are about one in 10,000, according to wildlife officials.
Ben Hindmarsh, a fish and wildlife specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, said two genetic conditions explain the deer's mystical appearance: leucism and albinism.
The deer Baert saw passing through his yard were likely leucistic because the pigment in their face and eyes isn't consistent with albinism, he said.
While leucism in deer isn't associated with any other abnormalities, it can make it hard for animals to camouflage in the summer months meaning they're easy targets for predators.
After taking a look at the pictures Hindmarsh said the deer were both male, and about a year old.
As for where the brothers came from?
Hindmarsh isn't sure.
"There is potential that the animals are naturally leucistic but they may also have come from a captive bred source," he said.