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Rare White Giraffes Caught On Film For First Ever Time

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Rare White Giraffes Caught On Film For First Ever Time

Two giraffes with a rare genetic condition, which makes their fur white, have been spotted in Kenya and filmed for the first time ever.

The mother and child both have a condition called leucism, which results in a lack of pigmentation in skin cells, hair, fur, feathers or scales, and makes the animal a white colour.

Credit: Caters

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The clip was filmed by conservationists at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya's Garissa county, after locals told them about the amazing white animals.

Unlike albinism, which is only an absence of melanin, leucism has a reduction in multiple types of pigment and makes these giraffes look pure white.

Animals with leucism will usually have dark eyes, unlike albino animals, whose eyes will be pink.

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Credit: Caters

A blog post by the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP) about the animals said: "They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence.

"The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes."

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The mother and child were spotted by locals recently. Credit: Caters

They also note that there is a usual giraffe pattern on the younger of the two, leading to speculation that perhaps the giraffe's colouring will 'fade' as it approaches adulthood.

There have only been two other known sightings of giraffes with the same condition, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania.

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Credit: Caters

The first report was in January 2016 at the Tarangire National park, Tanzania and the second in Kenya in March 2016. This is believed to be the first ever time they've been captured on film.

One villiage told HCP: "I remember when I was a kid, we never saw them. It must be very recent and we are not sure what is causing it."

Featured Image Credit: Caters

Topics: conservation, Kenya

Claire Reid
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