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ICONIC SPECIES

Kenya’s only white female giraffe, calf killed by poachers

Following the incident, only a lone bull remains.

In Summary

• According to images sent in by the community, the giraffe was in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers.

• Her calf was the second birth reported in August last year, resulting in a family of three white giraffes.

Kenya’s only white female giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.
Kenya’s only white female giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.
Image: COURTESY

Kenya’s only white female giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers.

The deaths were confirmed today by community members and rangers of Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.

Following the incident, only a lone bull remains.

 

“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 taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts,” said Mohammed Ahmednoor the manager of IshaqbiniHirola Conservancy where the giraffe was endemic.

According to images sent in by the community, the giraffe was in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers.

Her calf was the second birth reported in August last year, resulting in a family of three white giraffes.

The white giraffe made headlines in 2017 after its discovery, with its unique white hide. It is white but not albino, because of a condition known as leucism.

Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, thus her eyes were dark in colour.

“This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone to the drain. Further to this, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area,” Ahmednoor added.