A day after images of a puppy with an extra tail growing from its head made headlines around the world, another animal with unusual extra headgear has been sighted - a rare three-antlered whitetail deer.
The creature was pictured between the snow covered trees on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by amateur photographer and former state representative, Steve Lindberg.
The large buck was captured looking directly at the camera. On its right side, he has a five-point antler growing from his head. But an abnormal growth appears to have caused two separate antler beams to grow out of its skull, side by side.
The creature appears to have suffered no ill-effects from the supplementary cranial protuberance and Mr Lindberg noted the animal was seen “with his girlfriend”.
The photograph was taken on 10 November, five days before the hunting season begins later this week.
After a lifetime of hunting, Mr Lindberg told the Detroit Free Press that he decided six years ago to shoot deer with a camera instead of a gun.
The 75-year-old who now aims to post a photo a day to social media, said they will mostly be of wild animals because it is a lot like hunting.
He said he had watched the deer for several hours.
The buck was with a small doe and he suggested it had not wanted him to get too close to her. The following day the creature had vanished from the area.
“At the end of the day, I’ll be honest with you. I’d like to get more pictures of that deer. I’d like to see if it comes back next year, so I’m kind of rooting for it to make it through deer season,” Mr Lindberg told the WVLTnews channel.
“Hope he stays safe”, wrote one person on Facebook after Mr Lindberg posted the picture, while several others said he would be a “trophy” for a hunter.
Guy Moorhead suggested the animal “must have broken his antlers in early age or split it rutting or fighting with another buck.”
Veterinarian Steve Edwards, of Lakeview in Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press that the deer is normal and healthy. He said it was possible something happened when the deer was an embryo before birth.
The three-antler deer is probably a “one-in-a-million thing”, he added.