Real-life 'unicorn' found in Slovenia?

A hunter in Celje, Slovenia shot a roe deer during a hunting session, discovered what was seemingly a real-life unicorn.

Unicorn deer in Slovenia

As fairytale-like as it can be, Slovenian scientist and researcher Bostjan Pokorny said, this unicorn looking deer is the first for him to see in his entire life.

It turned out that the supposed unicorn was in fact a deer with a single antler due to a deformity issue.

Pokorny described the single antler deer as "unusual". "In this species, only males grow antlers, which are bilateral and usually symmetrical bone structures that appear from two antler pedicles, i.e. extensions of the skull", Pokorny said.

"However, in the case of this very untypical and interesting buck, both pedicles, which should be separated, grew up together in one large pedicle.", Pokorny added.

Roe deers are widespread species in Slovenia. Although abundant, it is highly monitored by the government to control how many animals can be hunted per year.

The Slovenian unicorn deer may not be as mythical as how unicorns were thought to be but antlers are unique in its own sense, certified wildlife biologist Kip Adams of Knoxville, Pennsylvania said.

"The cells that actually make the antler grow, they're some of the most amazing cells known to man", Adams stated.
Antlers are made from bone and are typically grown and cast off in a yearly cycle, whereas horns (think of a bighorn sheep) are permanent and composed mostly of keratin—the same substance that makes up hair and fingernails
Antlers are sensitive and highly prone to injury. During spring and fall seasons, antlers are usually soft. If they get hit by any hard objects, they might succumb to abnormal growth for the rest of the year.

Sources: National Geographic, Bostjan Pokorny, Kip Adams

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