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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 17 August 2022

Two rare and magnificent white giraffes have been spotted in Kenya

The giraffes have a condition known as leucism.

Source: Hirola Conservation Program/YouTube

CONSERVATIONISTS IN KENYA have discovered two white, or leucistic, giraffes after locals reported increased sightings of the rare creatures.

Images of the mother and baby giraffes were taken by the Hirola Conservation Program (HCP) and show them alongside another giraffe with the more recognised yellow and brown markings.

Leucism is a condition in animals that’s categorised by a loss of pigmentation and results in white or pale coloured skin. Lions, horses and tigers have all been seen with the condition.

Leucism differs from albinism in a number of ways but one of them is that it does not cause red eyes.

A blog by HCP reports that the leucistic giraffes were first spotted by villagers near the Ishaqbin nature reserve. The conservationists then made their way to the area where the giraffes were spotted.

“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 blog says.

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HCP added that, while such sightings are rare, they are becoming more common in the region. Last year there was one such sighting in Kenya and another in Tanzania.

“As a matter of fact, these sightings have become a common occurrence in Hirola’s geographic range and the communities in these areas have become so excited to a point where everybody has been participating in reporting the sighting of these magnificent animals,” the blog says.

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Rónán Duffy

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