(TMU) — In the latest senseless crime against wildlife, two extremely rare white giraffes in Kenya have reportedly been killed by poachers.
Rangers at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy discovered the carcasses of a female white giraffe and her calf in a village in Garissa County.
Conservancy manager Mohammed Ahmednoor on Tuesday said that after a long search, they were only able to recover the super-rare animals’ skeletal remains. In a statement, he said:
“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.
It’s killing is a blow to the tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts.
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. Also, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area.”
📷Photo by Hirola Conservation Programme pic.twitter.com/PNXSca5vjr
— Rainforest Trust (@RainforestTrust) June 21, 2019
CGTN reports that because the carcasses were found in a “skeletal state,” it is likely that the animals were dead for a long time prior to being found.
The poachers remain unidentified and their motive remains unknown. The incident is being investigated by the Kenya Wildlife Society.
According to conservationists, only one male white giraffe, a bull, remains and is believed to be the only one left in the world.
In 2017, the discovery of the rare creature put the remote community conservancy on the world map, dazzling locals as well as scientists and wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
At the time, the Hirola Conservation Programme said that the animals “so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence.”
Continuing, the conservationists noted that “the mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.”
The extraordinary appearance of the giraffes was the result of a genetic condition called leucism, which halts blocks the pigmentation of some cells. Unlike albino animals, leucistic creatures have some melanin as well as dark eyes.
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