When you think of a giraffe, you’re probably not envisioning one without spots! One resident if the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa County, Kenya was walking the grounds and noticed two animals that looked like giraffes without their signature coat markings. According to the conservatory’s blog, the villager hurried home to alert the rangers in the area.
Sure enough, when they went out to see if the ghostly giraffes were still there, they were! The rangers noted on the blog “they were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by out presence.” The baby and mom kept staring at conservatory workers as they documented the occurrence. Rangers also noted that the mother was pacing in front of her baby as he or she hid in the bushes. Researchers stated that this is a normal reaction for mothers and their babies.
This may sound like a rare happenstance, but the blog noted that these all-white animals have “become more frequent and common nowadays.” Not too long before the two white giraffes were seen in Kenya, there was also a different sighting in Tanzania.
One wildlife biologist, Zoe Muller noted that there have been all-white giraffe spottings in 1938, 1956, 2005, 2011, 2015, and now 2017. Even though some people would consider these creatures albino, this isn’t the case.
The reason behind the giraffe’s appearance is due to leucism. According to the blog, this is a “partial loss” of pigmentation. From the photos, you can see the mother giraffe has a full loss of color. On the other hand, her baby only has a partial loss of their spots. If you look closely at the photograph, you can see some spots on half of the animal’s body.
Even without their unique coat pattern, these animals are still totally adorable.
Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp