MILFORD TOWNSHIP (WWJ/AP) – The killing of a rare white buck as part of an effort to control the deer population at Kensington Metropark in Milford has upset some area residents and nature-lovers.

The Oakland Press reports the deer had been seen at the park for more than three years. It was killed in February as part of a cull to reduce the deer herd in the area, but residents didn’t learn of the death until recently.

Paul Muelle, natural resources director at Huron-Clinton Metroparks, says the sharpshooter team followed proper procedure.

Gregory Miller, a Howell man who photographs wildlife at the park, recently sent a letter to park administrators saying it was “unique, beautiful, rare and irreplaceable.” He’s among those calling for a review of policy by park officials.

The killing of the specific deer was not intentional, Metropark officials said.

Concerned residents who want to comment on the issue can attend a meeting of the The Huron-Clinton Metropark Board of Commissioners begins at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 9, at the Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center, located at 5175 Indian Trail in White Lake. [To find another meeting time, visit metroparks.com/Meeting-Schedule].

Last October, the family of an 11-year-old Oceola Township boy said the child received death threats after he shot a 12-point albino buck with a crossbow. Officials with the Michigan DNR said, while the killing was lawful, they viewed the incident as an “opportunity for public dialogue.”

Albino deer are very uncommon, but the specifics of their rareness are unknown. Some researchers claim albino deer are born once in about 20,000 births, while others say it’s more like one in 100,000 births.

The DNR says all-white deer have been legal to hunt in Michigan since 2008, when the state lifted protections for the animals.

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