An 11-year-old boy in Michigan had an encounter last week with one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights - an albino deer, alive and free in the wild. Only about one in 20,000 deer are born with albinism, and far fewer survive to maturity like this one had.
But the boy was on no nature walk; he was on a hunting trip with his father, and the rare deer wouldn't survive the day.
Warning: Graphic image below
With the encouragement of his father, Mick Dingman, the sixth-grader steadied his crossbow and fired a fatal shot through the deer's lungs, besmirching that snow-white coat with the spill and splatter of blood. The rare animal had been seen by folks around town leading up to that moment, but now this deer was the Dingmans' alone.
Dingman tells the Livingston Daily that he plans to commemorate the killing by getting the 12-pointed buck mounted by a taxidermist: "It's too rare and too pretty not to spend the extra money and have the whole thing done."
"[My son] kind of feels like a rock star right now," says Dingman, adding that the youth's supposed accomplishment has caught the attention of hunting magazines, who are interested in sharing the story. But not everyone is so excited.