White Giraffe in Kenya

The last female white giraffe and her calf were recent killed by poachers in Kenya. This leaves a single male – the last white giraffe in the world.

Leucism

The giraffes were white not because of albinism but because of a condition called leucism. It is the condition that inhibits pigmentation in some of the skin cells. This gives the animal a pearly color. Animals with leucism may have darker pigments in their soft tissues. Eg: they can have dark eyes unlike in albinism where melanin is not produced at all and albinos have pink eyes.

Animals that Exhibit Leucism

Apart from the white giraffes, leucism also occurs in moose, snakes, hippos, lions, birds like peacocks, eagles, penguins and even in fishes. Partial leucism can also occur in some animals like dogs, cats, horses, cows and crows.

Conservation

White giraffe was first spotted in Kenya in 2016. The giraffes received global attention in 2017 when their photos were circulated. The last female white giraffe and her calf were killed by poachers and were found in a skeletal condition. This leaves a single male- the last of its kind in the world. Around 40% of the giraffe population in general has disappeared over the last 3 decades due to poaching for their meat and skin.

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