PHOTO | COURTESYPHOTO | COURTESY
By HILARY KIMUYU

In June this year, reports of a white baby giraffe and its mother reached rangers in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county.

The rangers got the information from a villager who claimed to have sighted a pair of rare white giraffes, a mother and its child.

The rare giraffes have finally been caught on camera 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.

TYPES OF PIGMENT

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 Conservacy in Kenya’s Garissa county by conservationists after locals tipped them off.

According to Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), white giraffe sightings or leucistic giraffe as they are better known have become more frequent and common nowadays.

The only two known sightings have been made in Kenya and Tanzania. The very first reports of a white giraffe in the wild was reported in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania.

A second sighting was again reported in March 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.

According to HCP, it is thought that it is the first time anyone has captured video footage of the rare sighting.