Shortly after we arrived here in New York on our mission we heard about the "white deer". Once we even went in search of them, but didn't find them. However, in the back of our minds we knew we would look for them again. So, yesterday seemed to be the perfect day. It was our preparation day and we did some training of new missionaries in the morning. In the early afternoon we did shopping and other chores. It was a sunny and relatively warm day, so by late afternoon we decided it would be a perfect day to look for the white deer. We did find them - anyway, we found 10 of them. We enjoyed taking multiple pictures of them and these are some of the pictures we took:
We were so fascinated with the deer, that when we got home we did some internet research. This is what we learned:
The Seneca White Deer are a rare herd of deer living within the confines of the former Seneca Army Depot in Seneca County, New York. When the 10,600 acre depot was created in 1941, a 24 mile fence was erected around its perimeter, isolating a small herd of white-tailed deer, some of whom had white coats. These deer are not albino, but instead carry a set of recessive genes for all-white coats.
In the 1950s, the depot commander forbade the GI’s from shooting any white deer. The deer population has since grown to about 700, approximately 300 of which are white, making it the largest herd of white deer in the world.
Since the depot’s closure, the future of the deer has been uncertain. The visibility of white deer makes them easy prey for hunters and natural enemies like coyotes, and such a herd would not survive in the wild.
We felt such joy at seeing some of God's beautiful creations and plan to visit the "white deer" again before we leave New York.