Whitetail Deer With Purple Coloring Euthanized In Maine

Purple Deer
Tony Gedaro

On rare occasions, we’ve seen deer with some wild genetic or health conditions. From bucks with an insane amount of velvet, to doe with antlers, all-white deer and all-black deer… and then of course there’s Chronic Wasting Disease or CWD.

It’s just part of nature, but it’s something you’d never expect to see while out in the woods.

But speaking of deer with incredibly rare genetic conditions, here’s one of the wildest examples I’ve ever seen.

A purple deer was spotted in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in September, and was ultimately euthanized by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife… yes purple.

According to CBS 13, a department spokesperson said that they initially only intended to monitor the deer, as it appeared to be in decent health aside from its appearance. It also appeared to be harmless to other deer in the area.

However, after further examination, the department realized the deer’s health was declining, and ultimately put it down.

The deer had obvious purple face and neck swelling, and after testing, it was declared the deer was experiencing muscle wasting and reduced fat deposits under its hide and abdomen. The deer was also suffering from hair loss and swollen lymph nodes.

The lab added the deer’s symptoms were similar to those of a bacterial infection called “Bullwinkle Syndrome,” but more tests will need to be done in order to confirm it.

Maine wildlife photographer Tony Gedaro took the pictures of the obscure deer, writing in a Facebook post:

“This is going to fall into the ‘we can’t know for sure without doing an exam and collecting samples’ category.

The suggestion that came up most commonly in corresponding with other staff and vets was some sort of seroma, which would be an accumulation of fluid associated most often with trauma or infection. Also suggested were an unusual manifestation of ‘Bullwinkle’ condition, severe bottle jaw, a large abscess, hypoproteinemia, or fluid accumulation associated with conjunctive heart failure.

To your question of whether the deer will be okay, we feel the long-term outlook is not good. At present, his body condition looks normal other than the obvious fluid accumulation, so he is managing to get by okay for now. None of the likely causes for his condition concern us in terms of impacting other deer in the area.

This is one of those cases where there are two schools of thought, and he’s right in between them. One would be to remove him from the population so that he’s no longer visible and causing public upset, which would allow us to collect samples as well to see what exactly was wrong with him. The other would be to leave him be and wish him luck since his body condition otherwise is okay.”

Check it out:

Trail Camera Captures Mature Buck With Its Jaw Falling Off

What in the world happened here?

We’ve seen some wild video footage of deer and other creatures on trail cameras over the years. From a bobcat and rattlesnake brawling it out, an insanely rare all-white black bear in Michigan, wolves attacking elk, a Canada lynx attacking a coyote, and so much more.

Needless to say, not only are trail cameras great for checking out some potential trophy bucks, but also for capturing footage that you would never see in person.

And here we have yet another example of insane video footage coming from a trail camera.

In this video, you can see a mature buck make its way into view of the trail cam. However, there’s one thing in particular that makes this buck stand out…

And it’s the fact that its jaw is basically completely gone. You can see the bottom half of its mouth just dangling, looking like it’s hanging on by a thread.

Now it’s uncertain what exactly happened to this buck. It doesn’t look like it’s some kind of genetic issue, and it more than likely happened during a fight between another buck during the rut.

Or better yet, the most likely scenario is probably a very poorly aimed shot. Regardless of how it happened, the buck probably didn’t survive too much longer after this, considering it’s now unable to consume food very easily.

Check it out:


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock