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The Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP), a Rainforest Trust partner in Kenya, just captured footage of two white Reticulated giraffes. The giraffes, an adult female and calf, were in the region where Rainforest Trust and HCP are protecting vital habitat for the Hirola, the world’s most threatened antelope. The white color is due to a genetic abnormality called “leucism,” a condition which affects many species and turns their appearance white. According to the HCP blog, sightings of white giraffes around the Hirola range have increased in the past few years and recently, these two particular giraffes have been a common sight in the region.
“The current international attention given to these rare white giraffes should be used to focus on their status in the wild. This stately elegant mammal, emblematic of African savannas and beloved around the world, faces the same threats as many other species,”
said Dr. Sally Lahm, Rainforest Trust’s Africa and Madagascar Conservation Officer.
“There are fewer than 98,000 giraffes in populations scattered across the African continent. They already appear to be extinct in at least seven countries. Some giraffe populations are increasing while others are decreasing due to threats which vary among regions where they exist. The four major threats are habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal hunting and ecological changes in preferred habitats. Hirola Conservation Programme’s project to create 2 new conservancies for hirola antelope with local communities provides protection and monitoring for all wildlife populations, including giraffes.”
Check out the footage here:
Footage courtesy of Hirola Conservation Programme.