The world’s only female white giraffe has been killed by poachers in Kenya, along with her young calf.

Rangers found the bodies of the female and her calf in a village in north-eastern Kenya’s Garissa County.

 

 

One other white giraffe, a male birthed by the late mother, is still alive and is thought to now be the only remaining white giraffe in the world.

white giraffesIshaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy

The death of the mother and calf was confirmed by Garissa County Conservation Center in a press release posted on Facebook on Tuesday, March 10.

The statement said, according to ‘images sent in by the community’, the body of the mother giraffe was ‘in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers’.

 

 

Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, said:

This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe.

Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wake up call for continued support to conservation efforts.

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.

Ahmednoor added that tourism will be affected as a result of the deaths, as the white giraffe brought a ‘big boost’ to the tourism industry.

The distinctive white giraffe hit global headlines in 2017 when it was discovered, with its unique white appearance a result of a condition known as leucism, which causes partial loss of pigmentation in an animal.

 

 

Unlike with Albinism, leucistic animals continue to produce some dark pigment in their soft tissue, and so the giraffes’ eyes were dark in colour rather than red as typically seen in instances of albinism.

When the ghostly white giraffe first made headlines, she was discovered alongside her calf. A second calf followed, and the family of three lived within the confines of the sanctuary.

The mother’s body is thought to have been there for around three to four months and was found alongside that of her youngest calf, who seems to have died from hunger after the mother died, Newsweek was told.

Hopefully those responsible will be caught and brought to justice.

SOURCE: UNILAD