White deer spotted on Redding Road
Published 1:11 am, Friday, July 2, 2010
The tables were turned Monday as man encountered an albino Bambi.
Danbury resident Joseph Novella was caught like a deer in headlights upon spotting the all-white animal cross in front of his vehicle near the Redding Road.
"It was shocking," he said. "At first, I didn't instantly recognize it as a deer."
How rare is such a sight?
Horkel said albinism varies. Some deer may be spotty on the belly while others are all white. The spotty ones, dubbed Piebald deer, are more common, according to Kilpatrick. He added that the DEP gets a report of an albino deer spotting once every three to four years.
Unfortunately for albino deer, they don't do a good job of blending into their environment, except after a blizzard.
"They're more visible to predators," said Kilpatrick. He added that bobcats, black bears and coyotes, all of which have a presence in Connecticut, "prey on deer to some degree." In addition to not being able to camouflage well, albino deer also have poor eyesight, Kilpatrick said.
Some hunters, or those who live in deer-dense residential areas, go all their lives without spotting an albino deer.
Novella knows how lucky he was to see what he saw.
"It was amazing," he said.
Novella, a partner with Green Star Energy Solutions, was coming back from a consultation at a Westport home when he spotted the deer. Seconds later, he pulled into a driveway to continue to observe this rarer form of deer.
If spotting an albino deer wasn't lucky enough, two fawns jumped out of the brush right after he had gotten a hold of his camera. And then, "to see them suckling at the mother, I couldn't believe it."
"I was lucky to see all that," Novella said.
Others around here might get the chance to at least see an albino deer in the future.
"Southwest Connecticut has the highest density of deer," he said. "It's a numbers thing. The more deer you have, the greater the chance of seeing an albino deer."