A pair of white giraffes, a mother and calf, have been filmed by conservationists for the first time.
The white giraffes have leucism, a condition that inhibits pigmentation in skin cells.
Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, which explains the white giraffes’ dark eyes and other colouring
Rumours had been circulated of a white giraffe with her calf in the Ishaqbini conservation area, Garissa County, for a few weeks. However, rangers were not able to confirm the sightings until June, this year, following a tip-off from local villagers.
The area is managed by the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), an NGO dedicated to preserving the critically endangered hirola antelope, one of the rarest in the world.
In a blog post the HCP wrote:
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.
According to the HCP, this most recent footage is only the third known sighting of a white giraffe.
The very first reports of a white giraffe in the wild were reported in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania. A second sighting was reported in March 2016, in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.
Featured image: Screenshot from video/Hirola Conservation