Published: Wed, March 11, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

World's Only Female White Giraffe, Calf Killed by Poachers in Kenya

World's Only Female White Giraffe, Calf Killed by Poachers in Kenya

Kenya's only female white giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers, conservationists have said, in a major blow to conservation of the rare animals found nowhere else in the world. It is thought to be the only remaining one in the world, the conservationists added.

"This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole", Ahmednoor said in a statement.

The white giraffes were first spotted in 2016 and photographed in 2017, Abdullahi H. Ali, founder of the Hirola Conservation Program in Kenya, told CBS News. The Kenya Wildlife Society is investigating the killings.

Officials at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said that skeletons of the giraffe whose white pigment was linked to a genetic disorder, were discovered after an extended search.

It needs no mention that the family was a great attraction for tourists across the world. "This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone to the drain".

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The giraffe became famous thanks to its unusually ghost-like appearance-a trait caused not by albinism, but a condition called leucism. After this incident, only a lone bull remains.

Reports from National Geographics refuted the claims by netizens that the giraffes were albinos, rather, they clarified that they suffered from a condition known as leucism which hindered skin cells from produce pigmentations.

Giraffes are said to be heading towards "a silent extinction".

Kenya's giraffe population is estimated at almost 29,000 and is facing serious threats to their survival linked to diseases, poaching, habitat loss and climate change.

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