Kenya’s only white giraffe and it’s calf were killed by poachers at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa County. The rare white giraffe was first spotted two years ago in the remote community conservancy in Ijara, Garissa County.
The giraffe, described as one of a kind and believed to be the only one in the world, had dazzled the local community, scientists and wildlife enthusiasts globally. The rare white giraffe had since given birth to two white calves in the last two years.
Scientists believed it suffered from a genetic condition called leucism which inhibits skin cells from producing pigment. Unlike albinism, leucism inhibits skin cells from producing pigments, but allows other organs like the eyes to have a dark colour.
The conservancy’s manager Mohammed Ahmednoor said the deaths of the female white giraffe and her 7-month-old calf were confirmed by rangers and community members. The carcasses were found in a skeletal state, suggesting that they could have died a long time ago. The killing of these giraffes is a blow to the tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts. After this incident, only a lone bull remains.