This is the first footage — EVER — of White Giraffes!
We have to put the ‘albino’ in ‘quotes’… because strange as it sounds, these are not REALLY albino giraffes.
As cool as these are, they’re not something you’ll see in any children’s coloring books. Not just because they would be boring to color, either. It’s because they’re so rare that many rangers have never seen one.
But there really is such a thing as an actual white Giraffe.
And it turns out, they’re pretty cool!
As we said, it’s not albinism. But it is a genetic abnormality… it’s a little like red hair in people.
A white female and baby giraffe were first spotted on a reserve in Kenya in early August by rangers at the Hirola Conservation Program. Video they posted on YouTube recently skyrocketed in popularity as viewers marveled over the rarity of seeing the pale animal.
While many have been quick to label the giraffe as albino, it likely suffers from a genetic condition called leucism, which inhibits skin cells from producing pigment but allows other organs, like eyes, to be dark colored. Albinism, a congenital condition, inhibits the body from producing pigment in all organs, and animals with this condition often have pink eyes.
The condition, while rare, is not unheard of. It was last seen in a giraffe calf at Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.–National Geographic
Not surprisingly, white giraffes don’t do well in the wild. They stick out like a sore thumb and are an obvious target for predators.
Hirola noted in a blog post that this was the first time many of the community rangers had seen a white giraffe. They anecdotally wondered if the genetic condition is becoming more common, but no studies revealed whether this could be true.
Giraffes aren’t the only animal to make headlines for unique, white fur. Earlier this month, a rare white moose was seen in Sweden walking through tall grass. White lions and white penguins have also been spotted with similar pigment conditions.
Here’s a shot of that white moose, too, if you’re interested: