Rare white giraffes spotted in Kenya

A pair of white giraffes have been spotted in Kenya by locals and conservationists.

The reticulated giraffes have a genetic condition called leucism, which inhibits pigmentation in skin cells and results in a white, pale colour.

Unlike albinism, leucism skin cells continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue.

Did you see these pale white giraffes?! 😍 https://t.co/wUWOqdOzAb pic.twitter.com/926sfZLFD8— Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeaceafric) 13 septembre 2017

This means most leucistic animals have normal coloured eyes in contrast to red eyes in albinism.

While leucism is very rare, the condition occurs in many species, including penguins, eagles and hippos.

The incredible footage of the white giraffes, a mother and child, was captured by conservationists in Ishaqbini Hiroloa Conservancy in Kenya’s Garissa county after villagers tipped off local rangers.

Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP) 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.”

According to HCP, only two known sightings have been made before in Kenya and Tanzania.

A white giraffe in the same conservancy in Kenya was reported in March 2016, while photos of a Masai giraffe calf were taken in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania.

It is thought that it is the first time anyone has captured video footage of the rare sighting.
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