Photos Show Deer With Bulbous Jaw Growths Appearing To Turn Purple In Maine

You have heard of a white-tailed deer, but probably not a purple-headed deer.

A wildlife photographer captured images and footage of a deer turning purple in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

The deer appears to have several large lumps on its jaw and chest, with a dark purple color from the base of its front legs and into the animal’s jaw. The head and ears have also changed to a light purple color.

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The photographer did not share the exact location of the sighting in Cape Elizabeth in order to prevent people from seeking out the deer.

Commenters on social media have varying hypotheses as to what could be causing the deer’s condition, with guesses ranging from bluetongue disease to a bacterial infection, or even cancer. The purple color of the deer is rather unheard of though; it does not appear to be a normal symptom of deer illness.

The deer appears to be otherwise healthy, with seeming no trouble walking.

“We’ve seen somewhat similar conditions, but cases like this are rarely identical to others, and there are a lot of possibilities,” said Nathan Bieber, the deer biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “[It’s] impossible to know for sure without sending samples to a lab.”