LOOK: Indiana Photographer Captures Stunning Drone Photos of Albino Deer
Ted Rutherford has made a career out of taking aerial photos using the camera on his drone through his appropriately named business, Ted's Drone Service. The majority of his business comes from homeowners looking to book his services to help find a leak in their roof, or for taking before and after pictures following a remodel. But, when a good friend recently called him after spotting an albino deer on their property, Ted quickly grabbed his drone and made his way there to capture the rare animal before it took off into the woods.
How Rare are Albino Deer in Indiana?
Before we get too deep into the rarity of these mesmerizing animals, it's important to note that just because a deer has a white coat doesn't mean it is an albino. According to Protect the White Deer, it's more than just white fur.
These animals are typically identified by their pink nose and eyes–the result of blood vessels showing through the skin and clear lens of the eyes. Light blue eyes can also indicate albinism.
Protect the White Deer goes on to say that both white deer and true albinos get their unique fur color from "different genes that affect different body processes."
Back to the question of how rare they are. Protect the White Deer, citing the book, White Deer: Ghosts of the Forest by Wisconsin Northwoods naturalist John Bates, says they are very rare with Bates noting approximately one in every 20,000 deer are born albino. Protect the White Deer also says some sources estimate that number to be closer to one in 30,000.
It's hard to tell whether or not the deer Ted's friend had on their property is a true albino. However, I did zoom in on one of the photos Ted allowed me to share with you as tight as I could without blurring it beyond recognition, and it does appear (in my completely non-professional opinion) that this particular deer at least has a pink nose (it's still difficult to see what color its eyes are).
See Photos of Possible Southern Indiana Albino Deer Caught on Camera
In total, Ted snapped around 10 photos of the animal before letting it go about its business. As you can see below, he managed to get a few shots from high above showing just how much it stands out in contrast to the green from the plants it's surrounded by before getting pretty close without spooking it.
I'm impressed not only by the pictures Ted was able to get but by the fact the deer stood there long enough for him to take them. It doesn't seem to be at all bothered by a flying, buzzing contraption taking its picture. Granted, I don't own a drone or know much about them, so there's a chance Ted was able to keep the drone at a distance where it didn't freak the deer out and zoom in with the camera to give the appearance he was able to get pretty close. Either way, these pictures he was able to get are incredible! Here are a couple more.
Of all the pictures Ted took, this last one might be my favorite. It appears the deer is making its way back into the woods after its impromptu photo shoot but stops long enough to look over its shoulder one last time like it's some kind of runway model.
To prevent a ton of people from showing up on his friend's property to get their own glimpse of this rare find, and to protect the animal itself from being the target of someone looking to bag an impressive trophy, Ted has chosen to keep the location of these photos private. Fortunately, as you can see, he managed to snag several stunning photos we can all use to appreciate this extremely rare creature.
[Sources: Ted's Drone Services on Facebook / Protect the White Deer]