Rare white giraffe spotted at Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy
By Saada Hassan
| June 30th 2020
Kenya Wildlife Services has spotted a white rare breed of giraffe outside the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Ijara constituency, Garissa County earlier today.
This is 111 days later since Kenya’s only white female giraffe and her calf were killed by poachers in the sanctuary.
However, the state agency is yet to release an official statement on the gender of the spotted rare breed.
“WOW is pretty much the only way to sum up a towering sight like this! Spotted earlier today outside the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Ijara, isn't this an impressive way to end the month? #WildlifeKe,” reads a tweet by Kenya Wildlife Services.
In 2017 the white giraffes made headlines after their discovery in the country but they did not stay long enough when the only female and its calf were killed in March.
However according to KWS, the giraffes might have been killed earlier.
“We are investigating reports of the deaths of a white Giraffe and a calf in Ishaqbini Conservancy in Garissa County. Our teams on the ground have seen bones believed to be those of the two giraffes. The bones are estimated to be four months old,” said the agency.
The calf was the second birth reported in August last year, resulting in a family of three white giraffes.
“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. Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps by the community to conserve rare and unique species," said Mohamed Ahmednoor, the manager of Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy.
The giraffes boast of its unique white hide which makes it an endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The white hides reflect a rare condition known as leucism which causes a partial loss of skin pigmentation.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the reticulated giraffes (species found in the conservancy and throughout northern Kenya) are about 15,780 individuals remaining in the wild.
This represents a 56 per cent decline compared to 30 years ago. Poaching and loss of habitats due to human activities remains the biggest challenge to the survival of the giraffes.
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