Two white giraffes, believed to be a mother and her child, have been sighted on camera in Kenya.
The pair have been identified to suffer from a genetic disorder known as leucism, a condition which contributes to the reduction of pigmentation in skin cells.
Animals with leucism still however inhibit the biological capacity to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue. This therefore answers the question of why the two giraffes have dark eyes and other forms of colouring on their skin.
The giraffes themselves were discovered by conservationists in the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy of Kenya, which is located in the county of Garissa.
The Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), an environmental organisation that manages the area in which the giraffes were found, wrote a blog post about the animals saying:
“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.”
This recent discovery by the HCP marks the third known sighting of a white giraffe.
In March 2016, a white giraffe in the same Ischaqbini community conservancy was reported to have been discovered. As well as this, a Masai giraffe calf called Omo was spotted in a Tanzanian national park in January 2016.
Reticulated giraffes such as these ones discovered originate from Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, these extraordinary animals are categorised as being “vulnerable”, with roughly 8,500 habiting in the wild.
Sources – The Guardian, The Independent