Local residents and conservationists in Kenya were overcome with joy when two rare white giraffes were spotted in Garissa county.
The unique breed, who are mother and child, were spotted at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy.
The white giraffes suffer from a condition called ‘leucism’ which happens to be genetic and disrupts pigmentation in skin cells.
Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy is managed by the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), a non-profit organisation committed to the preservation of the Hirola antelope, which happens to be a rare and endangered species.
Check out the incredible footage below:
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According to The Guardian:
Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, which explains the white giraffes’ dark eyes and other colouring
The HCP were alerted to their presence early in June when rangers were informed by local villagers that they had spotted the white baby giraffe nearby.
In the HCP blog post they wrote that:
They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence.
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.
The post went onto describe the rare giraffes’ features saying:
… I could not but help see the fading reticulates on their skin! It was evident that the coloration especially on the mother giraffe was not as conspicuous as the baby.
According to the Hirola Conservation this footage is the third known sighting of the white giraffe.
They have been listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and there is estimated to be only 8,500 of their kind in the wild.