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July 18, 2018

Rare white giraffes spotted in Kenya, captured for the first time

The pair of rare white giraffes spotted at Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa county. /DAILY MAIL
The pair of rare white giraffes spotted at Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa county. /DAILY MAIL

A pair of rare white giraffes, a mother and child, have been spotted in Kenya and captured on video for the first time.

The unique giraffes suffer from a genetic condition called leucism, which prevents pigmentation in skin cells and results in a white, pale colour.

Unlike albinism where there is only an absence of melanin, leucism is a condition that is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment.

The footage of the distinctive giraffes was filmed in the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa county by conservationists after locals tipped them off.

Earlier this year in June, Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP) said in a blog post that the giraffes were first reported by a local villager.

"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, other than the video, only two known sightings have been made in Kenya and Tanzania. 

The very first report of a white giraffe in the wild was in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania, and the second in March 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy in Garissa.

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

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