The only Steinbock with a white coat, a poetic mimesis with the blankets of snow
It has been baptised Flocon de Neige (Snowflake): the only albino steinbock that exists in the world as far as we know. He was discovered, filmed and photographed during an expedition, which took place on 24 June 2007: the animal lives around the valley called Les Laures, in the district of Brissogne, at the foot of the eastern face of Monte Emilius. Since 2006 people had been talking about a white steinbock, ever since a group of local hunters told the story of their meeting with him; subsequently, the animal was seen again by some Val d|"Aosta Forest Rangers and the â€śmissionâ€ť on 24 June Â allowed him tobe photographed and make him the most famous steinbock in the world, so much so that, even in the United States, he was baptised with the name, translated into English: Snowflake.Â This splendid
example, a bout which there was no previous mention in the science books, is a male about 17 months old, who appears to be in excellent health and well integrated in the herd, despite his â€śdifferent colouringâ€ť. Albinism is a hereditary anomaly, also for humans, consisting of a deficiency in melanin pigmentation in the skin, iris, choroid (thin ocular membrane), hair and body hair, and, for animals, of a similar pigment deficiency in the eyes and coat. It is actually a recessive phenotype (appearance and bodily constitution of an organism) and therefore, it appears in individuals bred from the 2 parents who are both albinos or carriers of the albino gene. Total albinism is rather rare, whereas partial
albinism is relatively more frequent, with the absence of pigmentation limited to small areas of the skin or just to one eye. The albinism which Snowflake has is probably total, since his eyes are blue and his horns are very fair-coloured. Hunters and Forest Rangers are keeping a careful eye on his movements; the Regional Authorities have given a vet the task of monitoring his health and a communications agency the task of looking after the publicity of all the information and research.