April 20, 2019

Why life is all-white for these giraffe

Why life is all-white for these giraffe
Dr. Chris Brown

A giraffe already does a pretty good job of being eye-catching. But for a mother and calf in Kenya, they’ve made sure they have everyone’s attention. They’ve somehow defied the odds (and a rare genetic abnormality) to become the world’s only white family of giraffe. Here’s how…

The pair are only the second and third white giraffe known to exist in the world. The pair follow the discovery of “Omo” in Tanzania 3 years ago who was the first giraffe that carried the gene for ‘leucism'; a rare genetic abnormality that affects the ability of the pigment cells to produce colour. The result is this eye catching coat colour. But being eye-catching isn’t necessarily what you want in the wilds of Africa. Not blending in makes them a massive target for predators such as lion, leopard and hyena. Somehow however, they have found a way to survive in a place where they’re already under threat from poachers and habitat loss. Hopefully their survival can be a bright beacon of hope for an animal that it sure is hard not to love…

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