GHOSTLY GIRAFFES NOT A PIGMENT OF THE IMAGINATION
TWO white giraffes have emerged in Africa. The mother and calf may be an evolutionary step.
The spectral family was first spotted by villagers in Kenya in June. Word of their spooky find soon spread.
Soon, Kenya’s Hirola Conservation Program (HCP) sought to verify the reports.
In August, a team of conservationists managed to track the pair down near the Ishaqbini conservation park in Garissa, eastern Kenya.
“We hurriedly headed to the scene as soon as we got the news. And lo! There, right in front of us, was the so hyped ‘white giraffe’ of Ishaqbini conservancy!” the HCP’s blog reads.
Mum seemed aware the preternatural colouring of her calf and herself left them somewhat exposed.
“The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes,” the HCP’s blog reports.
Soon the pair slipped back into the bush.
But not before HCP’s conservationists had caught photographic and video evidence of their condition.
The rare giraffes are not albinos — a condition which strips all pigment out of an animal’s skin, and is recognisable through pink eyes.
Instead, they have a genetic condition called leucism.
Here, pigment remains in key parts of their body — such as the eyes and nose. But it is absent in skin and fur.
The HCP footage shows the calf to have faint brown traces of giraffe-like patterns. But experts believe this will fade to white as it grows older.
These two rare giraffes spotted near a conservation park in Kenya are not albinos — instead, they have a genetic condition called leucism.