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Piebald deer spotted in Missoula's South Hills
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Piebald deer spotted in Missoula's South Hills

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Piebald deer

A Piebald deer was spotted by Lucia Bergoust on Friday near her father's property in the South Hills neighborhood. 

Bliss seems awfully hard to come by these days, but that's how Lucia Bergoust, 11, felt when she spotted a nearly-albino fawn near her father's home in the South Hills over the weekend. 

"It just blew my mind, just, wow," Bergoust said. 

Bergoust was with her friend, Alina Janes, when they noticed something out of place in a rock bed by a pond near her father's home. They kept their distance, but managed to capture a few photographs of the fawn, all white except a brown cap and a dot of brown on its leg.

"I thought, 'adorable,'" Bergoust said Monday. 

The pigment pattern, called Piebald, is a genetic mutation, said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser. While truly albino are extremely rare — roughly one in 30,000, according to FWP biologists — Piebald are slightly more common. "But it's still fairly rare," Crowser said. 

Crowser said Bergoust and her friend did right to leave the fawn be and enjoy it from a distance. 

"Just like you would do with any other animal, give it space," Crowser said. "It's fun to observe them from a distance, but otherwise give it it's space to let it do it's thing."

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