Rare White Giraffes Slain by Poachers in Kenya.

Rare White Giraffes Slain by Poachers in Kenya.
Rare White Giraffes Slain by Poachers in Kenya.

Rare white giraffes spotted by a Kenyan villager in June 2017 got killed this year. The villager in Kenya had, at the time, been herding his animals near the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in northeast Kenya. The conservancy situated in a large unfenced area contains several villages within it. The villager came upon a ghostly giraffe with a mighty long neck grazing in the distance.

In addition, the villager discovered that a smaller pale baby giraffe accompanied the tall, majestic giraffe. The villager then decided after that to report his sighting of the pair of rare white giraffes to the rangers in Ishaqbini Conservancy, Garissa County.

Filming of the Rare White Giraffes

After the rangers received the information, they rushed to get a look at the majestic giraffes. The rangers found the pair at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, an area managed by the Hirola Conservation Program (HCP). The program an NGO devotes its resources into conserving the critically endangered hirola antelope, one of the rarest on earth.

While at Hirola, the rangers spent almost 20 minutes with the beautiful giraffes and took numerous close-up photos and videos of the pair. The two remained calm and seemed unbothered by the ranger’s presence despite them being very close to them.

The mother giraffe, however, kept pacing back and forth while signaling her calf to hide behind the bushes. To their surprise, the rangers spotted one ordinary colored giraffe hanging around the mother and calf.

This was the first time that white giraffes had been captured on film despite there being other earlier sightings of giraffes with similar conditions in other countries. The first-ever sighting of a white giraffe happened at Tarangire National Park in January 2016. A Masai giraffe calf called Omo was observed at the park.

Leucism

After the rangers filmed and photographed the giraffes, news about their existence spread across the world.  The appearance of the duo was something very new to the world. The pair displayed the features of a genetic condition known as leucism. Leucism is a condition that inhibits pigmentation in skin cells.

Dissimilar to albinism, where animals don’t produce any melanin, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigments in their soft tissue. In addition animals with leucism retain a normal eye color. Animals with albinism on the other hand usually have red eyes. The baby calf at Hirola appeared to have prominent traces of color that seemed to be fading away as it approached adulthood. Some of the animals known to have displayed traits of leucism include fish, eagles, moose, hippos, snakes, peacocks, lions, penguins, and birds.

Rare White Giraffes Killed

News of the rare white giraffes spread across the world since 2017 when they were first filmed. The conservancy, a vast and unfenced area, furthermore only made it easier for poachers to reach the animals. Rangers found the carcasses of the female giraffe and her calf on 10th March 2020. The rangers moreover made the discovery in a village in north-eastern Kenya`s Garissa County.

After this incident, only a third white male giraffe remains in the country. During August last year, the slain female giraffe gave birth at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy to the lone bull. This bull is believed to be the only remaining one in the world.

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