LOOMIS, Calif. (KTVU) - A rare albino fawn found on a road in Woodland is now in the care of an animal rescue center.
Diane Nicholas of Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue of Loomis told KTVU that the animal was rescued last Wednesday, when the young deer caught the eye of a truck driver who noticed something white in the middle of the road.
"He thought, what the heck is this? And he turned around," Nicholas explained. "When he came upon it, he thought it was a lamb or some kind of goat," she continued, but soon he realized it could be an albino fawn.
That's when he contacted Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue.
Nicholas said the small deer with a pink nose and large ears is about 3 weeks old. Her mother has not been located, leading rescue workers to believe she may have been killed, perhaps hit by a car.
"If it had a sibling, I don't think it survived," Nicholas added, explaining a young fawn needs to nurse to stay alive.
So it's a lucky thing the rescued deer came into the center.
And animal care workers are quite aware how special an event it is for them.
"For 13 years of doing this, we've never gotten an albino before," Nicholas, who founded Kindred Spirits, said. "We take over 200 fawns in a year. This is our first one. They are very, very rare."
She said some studies suggest one in 43,000 deer are born albino.
The fawn, who has been named Spirit, will remain at the center for about six months. She's currently in isolation but will evenutally be socialized with a herd of other rescued deer.
The herd will then be released back into the wild together, which will increase the animals' chance for survival, Nicholas explained.
As for this special one, she's doing quite well and already showing signs she'll succeed once released.
Nicholas described Spirit as spirited and spunky, characteristics she exhibited as soon as she came in to the center.
"Even from day one, she didn't want me touching her. She was screaming at me," the rescue worker said, adding that the fawn has been eating well too. In fact, after her feeding Monday morning, Nicholas described how once Spirit got what she wanted and was well fed, the young wriggled away, whacked her caretaker with her hoofs in the process and turned her back to her.
"I could tell she's feisty," Nicholas said, "and that's exactly what we really want."
This is an incredible treat for rescue workers, as they're aware they likely won't get another opportunity to get so close to such a rare creature, Nicholas acknowledged. "Something like this, it's a special gift."