A pair of rare white giraffes have been spotted in Kenya, to the delight of local residents and conservationists.
The reticulated giraffes, a mother and child, suffer from a genetic condition called leucism, which inhibits pigmentation in skin cells. Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, which explains the white giraffes’ dark eyes and other colouring.
They are in an area that is managed by the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP).
According to the HCP, this most recent footage is only the third known sighting of a white giraffe.
A white giraffe in the same Ishaqbini conservancy was reported in March 2016, while in Tanzania, a Masai giraffe calf called Omo was observed in Tarangire national park in January 2016.
Reticulated giraffes are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with an estimated 8,500 individuals in the wild. They live in Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.