IJARA, Kenya - The white giraffe is an exceptionally rare feat of nature, but three of them called Kenya home up until Tuesday.
The skeletal remains of a female white giraffe and her calf were found in Ijara, according to the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy. A lone bull is all that remains of the family.
Park officials say armed poachers are to blame.
“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,” said Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy.
According to the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, armed poachers killed a female white giraffe and her calf.(Photo by Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy)
Two of the white giraffes were first discovered in 2017. Her second calf was born in August of last year.
Park officials said the giraffes are not albino. The female giraffe had a condition called leucism, which means dark pigment appeared in her soft tissue.
It’s the reason her eyes were dark in color.
Two of the white giraffes were first discovered in 2017. Her second calf was born in August of last year. (Photo by Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy)
Ahmendnor said the deaths of the giraffes is a “killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species.”
“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. Further to this, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area,” Ahmednoor said.
He wants it to be a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts.
This story was reported from Atlanta.