Rare white Kenyan giraffe, calf killed by poachers


Rare white Kenyan giraffe, calf killed by poachers

A rare white giraffe that had gripped headlines in 2017 has been killed at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in Garissa County, reports say.

Also killed was the calf whose remains, Conservancy manager Mohammed Ahmednoor told the media were found after a long search.

According to KWS, the white Giraffe was the only one of its kind in the world.

In 2017, the giraffe gave birth to a male calf raising everyone’s hope that the rare lineage would continue.

The giraffe had grabbed headlines- local and international- when it was first sighted by local residents who alerted the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers.

Experts later revealed that the reticulated giraffes, a mother and child, suffered from a genetic condition called leucism.

The giraffe was first sighted by local residents who alerted KWS rangers. Photo: Nat Geo

 

The condition which inhibits pigmentation in skin cells however continues to produce dark pigment the host’s soft tissue which explained why the majestic animal has dark eyes and other colourings.

Other sightings of the white giraffes have happened in Tanzania and Ethiopia with experts saying most white giraffes do not make it past six months of age.

When the videos of the animals first went viral, there was growing concern among conservationists that the media attention was exposing the animals to poaching.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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