Conservationists confirm death of rare white female giraffe and calf in North Kenya

The conservancy is in an unfenced region which has caused the death of several animals

A rare white giraffe which is found in North Kenya was declared dead by the conservationists on Tuesday, March 10. Rangers found the carcasses of the giraffe and her calf in north-eastern Kenya's Garissa County. The Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement that the body was found in a skeletal state after they were killed by armed poachers. The conservancy said that the death leaves behind just one white male giraffe who was born out of the same female who was killed by the poachers.

The manager of the conservancy Mohammed Ahmednoor said that the killing is a blow to the community. There were several steps taken to protect and preserve the white giraffes. The conservancy also said that they were the only custodians of the rare white giraffes.

The interest behind the rare giraffe

Rare white giraffe
Rare white giraffe YouTube Grab/ NatGeo WILD

The white color on the animal is not caused by albinism but by a condition known as leucism. This means that the animal continues to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, giving them dark eyes. The female was first spotted between 2016 and 2017 close to Tanzania which stirred the interest of the people. She gave birth to two calves late last year. The calves were also born with the same condition. The giraffes were last spotted around three months ago.

The manager of the conservancy said that the giraffe's death was a sad day for the researchers and tourism providers in the country. The Kenya Wildlife Society said that they were investigating the killings of wild animals.

The conservancy is in an unfenced region which can be accessed easily. There are several villages inside the conservancy. In the past 30 years or so there has been a 40 percent decrease in the giraffe population. They have been poached for meat and skin. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the giraffe population went down from 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015.