Poachers slay unique white female giraffe and her seven-month-old calf
Twisted poachers have slayed Kenya's only white female giraffe and her seven-month-old male calf in a horrific killing.
The tragedy took place at Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in Ijara, Garissa County, eastern Kenya.
Conservancy manager Mohammed Ahmednoor said they only found skeletons of the rare animals after a long search, believed to have taken more than four days.
He said in a statement: “This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole.
"Her killing is a blow to the steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts."
Scientists believed it suffered from a genetic condition called leucism – a condition which means only some of her skin cells can make pigment.
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This is opposed to albinsim, which is characterised by red or blue eyes and pure white skin.
“This is a long-term loss given that genetic studies and research which were a significant investment in the area have now gone down the drain," Mr Ahmednoor added.
"Also, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area.”
Last August, the Northern Rangelands Trust announced that the female white giraffe had given birth at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.
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The birth of the male white calf brought the number of all known white giraffes in Kenya to three.
“After this incident, only a lone bull remains,” Mr Ahmednoor said.
In Tanzania, a white Masai giraffe calf called Omo was observed in Tarangire national park in January 2016.
There are very few other white giraffes known to be in existence.
The reticulated giraffe is listed as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, there are approximately 11,000 individuals living in the wild.
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