Rare sighting: Tennessee couple spots and encounters albino deer three times in one week

Rare sighting: Tennessee couple spots and encounters albino deer three times in one week

Sarah Al-Arshani
 USA TODAYplayShow CaptionHide Caption#videoDetailsToggle{color:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));cursor:pointer;display:inline-block;font-family:var(–sans-serif,sans-serif);font-size:var(–type-7);font-weight:var( –font-weight-bold,900);line-height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);margin-bottom:-8px}#vdt_hide{margin-bottom:10px}.vdt-flex[hidden]{display:none}.vdt-svg{fill:var( –color-dove-gray,rgba(0,0,0,.6));height:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px);width:var(–spacer-twentyfour,24px)}Watch as a family spots rare albino deer in backyardAn rare albino deer was caught on camera by homeowners in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Abbey and Trevor Cabler spotted the same deer three times in the past week. Now, ordinarily this wouldn’t be news in their Spring Hill, Tennessee town but the deer the couple spotted happened to be a rare albino deer.

It’s estimated that only 1 in 30,000 deer born will be albino, and while the likelihood of one existing is small, the probability of someone seeing these majestic animals is even slimmer.

“I knew it was so rare, and it was just so beautiful. I was like more people need to see this,” Abbey Cabler told USA TODAY.

Last Tuesday, the couple were getting ready to go to the gym in the early morning, when Trevor Cabler spotted the deer, his wife said. He then yelled for her to come down. Initially, she said she thought something went wrong, but he quickly told her to look out the window at the albino deer he just spotted. She didn’t believe him, but sure enough there was the deer just strolling along their property.

In disbelief, she began to take a video before rushing off to find her camera. A professional photographer by trade, Abbey Cabler wanted a chance to get some good shots of the deer. But by the time she returned to the window, the deer was barely visible, so she decided to try her luck and getting near the deer without spooking it away.

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“I scurried out onto the porch. He was already up into the forest a little bit, but I was able to get pretty close to him. I just couldn’t get any good photos on my actual camera. But I stood there kind of just observing him for a little bit, probably 10 feet away,” she said.

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Close encounters

She watched as the deer itched his antlers on a tree but when a squirrel spotted her, it freaked out, causing the deer to also freak out and take off.

Her husband spotted the deer again the next day. A few days later, she would drive up right next to the deer in her car.

“He was on the side of the road on another property just eating some grass. And I pulled up next to him and was saying, ‘Hey, bud. What’s up?’ and he just hung out. Which is pretty cool,” she said. “So I think the deer around here are pretty used to us because they definitely see us very often.”

The Cablers posted a photo of the deer onto a local Facebook page where a neighbor said they’ve spotted the same deer the previous year. They were able to identify it by an injury it had to it’s back leg.

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Casper: The friendly deer

The couple named the deer “Casper” since the sighting was made so close to Halloween and albino deer are often referred to as the “ghost of the forest.”

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“It kind of felt fitting he’s: Casper the Friendly Deer. It’s pretty cool to get to see him and it definitely brought us hope, and just a really cool experience. So we’re thankful for him, and we’re definitely keeping an eye on him,” she said.

Cabler told USA TODAY that many have suggested that spotting the rare deer is a sign of good luck.

“People have said that it’s good luck to see to see an albino deer, which I wouldn’t question at all. I would love to have good luck. We’ve seen him a collective three times now. So, we need to go buy a lottery ticket or something,” she joked.

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Keeping albino deer safe

Cabler said she posted the photo initially to make sure people were aware of the animal. Since it’s hunting season in the area, she wanted to make sure no one hurt the rare deer.

She said after coming across the albino deer, she researched them. She not only learned that they’re prevalent in the area, but that it’s also illegal to hunt them.

“I ended up learning a lot through that Facebook group how we’ve got in our area a genetic lineage of albinism. They’re I guess more prevalent where we are, which is kind of cool. So even though they’re super rare, we have a better chance of having them be born in our area,” she said.

Additionally, it’s a misdemeanor to kill an albino deer in Tennessee.

“We need to make sure we’re letting them be and live and also making sure they’re happy and healthy. So, it was really great to learn that and be able to spread the awareness that you can’t go after them. They’re beautiful but you can’t go after them,” she said.

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