Albino Deer

​The UWSP Museum of Natural History was fortunate enough to acquire a vehicle/deer collision victim from the DNR recently. While deer collisions are a common occurrence in Wisconsin, this animal is a true albino buck, and that is at minimum a truly rare circumstance. Albino deer are rarer than the slightly more common leucistic or pigment lacking deer, which can also be piebald, mostly brown, or mostly white. The growing herd of white deer in Wood County and northern Wisconsin are leucistic, possessing a recessive (but not harmful or degenerative) genetic trait found in roughly one percent of Wisconsin’s deer population. Leucistic deer have black noses, hoofs and typically normal colored eyes. Albino deer have pink eyes, noses and hooves. There is no firm data on how frequently true albino deer occur in a population, or if albinism affects lifespan. Estimates by biologists for the birth of an albino white-tail range from one in 20,000 to one in 100,000. It is also thought that true albino deer may not have the same exceptional eyesight of most white-tailed deer. 

Coastal Brown Bear

Coastal brown bears (Ursus arctos gyas) belong to the same species as grizzly bears. These bears can be found along the southern coast of Alaska. Brown bears are opportunistic omnivores and eat a variety of foods including salmon, berries, grasses, sedges, cow parsnip, ground squirrels, carrion (decaying dead animals), and roots. 

Timber (Gray or Grey) Wolf

Our male timber wolf mount was a road-kill victim near Shawano in 2011. With the help of the Wisconsin DNR and generous donors, we were able to acquire and mount this specimen. 

Another name for the timber wolf is the gray, or grey, wolf. Timber wolves often are found and hunt in packs. They tend to eat 20-30 pounds of food per one meal but can go up to 14 days between meals. They are often killed in revenge for killing livestock or out of fear of humans. Their numbers once dwindled due to this over hunting, however their numbers are coming back and are starting to stabilize.

Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bears are important seed distributors in their ecological niche. They scatter the seeds from the fleshy, seeded fruits that they eat. Grizzly bears can run up to 30 miles per hour. Other bears can even reach up to 40 miles per hour.

Grizzly bears and brown bears are often confused. A few ways you can identify them is to look at their backs and ears. Grizzly bears will have a large hump on their back and smaller ears, whereas brown bears will not have a hump on their back, and will have taller ears.