It’s the holiday season which means that we’ve got reindeer on our mind.
When we think of reindeer Santa’s fleet usually comes to mind.
We often forget that reindeer aren’t mythical creatures but actual caribou that can be found in habitats in different parts of the world.
But a Norwegian photographer captured the sight of a very rare reindeer that is so beautiful it could be a mystical creature.
Mads Nordsveen of Oloso said he spotted a rare white reindeer calf while hiking with friends in northern Norway.
The 24-year-old shared images of this magnificent creature on social media where thousands of people were enthralled by them.
“I was walking in the mountains looking for nice landscapes for my travel photography when out of nowhere I saw this wonderful little creature,” Nordsveen told Caters News. “He came very close to me and we looked at each other straight in the eyes. He was quite relaxed when he saw that I was calm and friendly.”
Nordsveen said that the baby reindeer seemed almost happy to see his new human friends.
“It was almost as if he posed for the camera,” he said. “He was very curious and fun. Like a little explorer.”
But little baby reindeer wasn’t out there all alone and unsupervised.
His momma wasn’t far behind.
“After some minutes the mother of the baby reindeer came out of trees just behind,” Nordsveen said.
“It walked around for some minutes before running back to its mother. It was very magical and a fairy tale moment.”
Nordsveen said he hopes that this isn’t the last he’s seen of the reindeer.
“Maybe one day we’ll meet again,” he said.
Either way, the encounter was a lucky break for Nordsveen. Some Scandinavian traditions say that spotting a white reindeer is a sign of good luck, according to the BBC.
White reindeer are considered to be very rare.
A white stag was spotted in northern Sweden in 2016. Their white coat is caused by a genetic condition that strips the pigment from their fur.
But it isn’t considered an albino.
If they were their eyes would be pink or red, but white reindeer have dark eyes and their antlers might also have pigmentation.
The reindeer is believed to be leucistic a rare recessive genetic trait that results in the loss of pigmentation, according to The Nature Conservancy. Leucism occurs in about one percent of deer populations. Not all deer with leucism are all white, some of them have white splotches.
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