According to conservationists, two very rare white giraffes have been killed by poachers in the north-east of Kenya.
Rangers have discovered the dead bodies of the two female giraffes- a mother and her calf- in a village in the county Garissa.
A third white giraffe is believed to be alive, but unfortunately, the only one of its kind in the world, explain the conservationists.
Their white appearance is a result of a rare condition known as leucism- it causes the skin cells to have no pigmentation.
After photographed back in 2017 and the photos going viral, the news of the white giraffes spread globally and became quite the tourist attraction and there was ongoing effort to prevent their extinction.
The giraffes were last spotted three months ago, claims the manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, Mohammed Ahmednoor.
Sad Day for Kenya, but for the Whole World too
The carcasses were found in a skeletal state which means they have been dead for some time before being discovered.
According to a statement by Mr. Ahmednoor, this is an utterly sad day for the community of Ijara and for the entire Kenya. They’re the only community in the world who has the white giraffe.
He also added that this is a permanent loss if taken into account the genetics studies and research that were a major investment in the area by researchers. The white giraffes were also a tourist attraction.
The killing of the mother and calf is a blow to the steps taken by their community to keep safe the unique, beautiful, and rare species, as well as a wakeup call for the pivotal support to conservation.
Even though the poachers haven’t been identified yet and their motives remain unclear, the Kenya Wildlife Society which is the main body of conservation in the East African state is investigating.
When photographed three years ago, the white giraffes were described as close and very calm and not disturbed by the photographers’ presence.