Photos of white reindeer calf a 'Christmas miracle'

Photos of a rare white reindeer calf were uploaded on Instagram by a Norwegian photographer on Dec 3, 2018.
Photos of a rare white reindeer calf were uploaded on Instagram by a Norwegian photographer on Dec 3, 2018. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM INSTAGRAM/MADS

Photos of a white reindeer calf have struck a chord with netizens during the year-end season.

Taken by Norwegian photographer Mads Nordsveen, 24, the photos uploaded to Instagram on Monday (Dec 3) have been liked more than 36,000 times.

Netizens have gushed over the adorable reindeer, with some calling it "cute", "amazing", "sweet" and a "Christmas miracle".

The white reindeer was photographed during a hiking trip in the mountains of northern Norway.

The photos show it blending into the snow, with the animal's piercing eyes and darker-coloured antlers contrasting sharply with the rest of the picture.

Mr Nordsveen told Caters News: "I was walking in the mountains looking for nice landscapes for my travel photography when out of nowhere I saw this wonderful little creature.

"He came very close to me and we looked at each other straight in the eyes."

He described it as relaxed, very curious and fun, "like a little explorer".

The mother of the baby reindeer was apparently among some trees behind.

Mr Nordsveen called it a "very magical and a fairy tale moment".

The photographer also told ABC News: "The local Sami people we talked to told us that these white animals are so unique that in Sami tradition they bring happiness."

White reindeer have an uncommon genetic mutation that strips their fur of pigment to allow them to blend into their snowy surroundings, said Caters News.

They are not albinos as their eyes and sometimes their antlers are still dark coloured.

These animals are also uncommon, making up less than 1 per cent of the deer population.

Mr Nordsveen was surprised by the enthusiastic response to his photos online. He told ABC News: "I am very pleased with the reaction. (They are) some very special photos but I did not think it would blow up worldwide like this!"