Rare white giraffes captured on video in Kenyan conservation area

Their appearance is a result of a heritable genetic condition called leucism

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 14 September 2017 09:50
Comments
The reticulated giraffes, a mother and calf, lack the animal's characteristic marking patterns and colour
The reticulated giraffes, a mother and calf, lack the animal's characteristic marking patterns and colour

Two rare white giraffes have been captured on camera in Kenya.

The reticulated giraffes, a mother and calf, lack the animal's characteristic marking patterns and colour.

Their appearance is a result of a heritable genetic condition called leucism, which reduces pigmentation in skin cells.

Unlike albinism, leucism does not affect eye colour.

The giraffes were spotted in the Ishaqbini conservancy in Garissa County, Kenya.

The area is managed by the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), an NGO protecting the habitat of the hirola antelope, which is the world's most threatened antelope.

In a blog, the HCP said the giraffes were reported to rangers in June.

"They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence," the blog said.

"The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby Giraffe to hide behind the bushes – a characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young."

It added that only two known sightings of white giraffes have been made before.

A white giraffe was reported in January last year in Taranigire National Park in Tanzania, according to the HCP, with a second sighting reported in March last year in the same Ishaqbini conservancy in Kenya.

Reticulated giraffes are native to Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

They are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with approximately 8,500 living in the wild.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in