The Question

Dear Ken,

My friend Sean Wadelius  took this photo on the bank of the Fraser River, near Chilliwack B.C. What is the unusual “cow” pattern in the deer? Is it cross breeding?

John Bodnar
Houston, B.C.


The Answer

Though uncommon, this is clearly a piebald deer. This colouration is a result of a genetic disposition—typically a recessive gene—rearing its head. Think albinism, though piebald doesn’t result in the pink eyes, etc., seen in an albino animal. But both are the result of genetics at play. No cows in the mix for this one!


Ken Bailey