May 13, 2018

Video footage shows two rare white Kenyan giraffes

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These two beautiful creatures are completely diffferent to others of their species, and there's a strange reason why. 

Two giraffes in Kenya have gone viral since their discovery, because unlike most giraffes their coats are pure white due to a genetic condition called leucism. 

As reported by The Epoch Times, the Hirola Conservation Program in Kenya shared video footage of the two giraffes, and it has since gone viral

While most people assume the wonderful animals are albinos, their particular pale color is a result of leucism. While they are similar disorders, leucism affects on the skin cells' ability to produce pigment, not all body cells. 

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As a result, the giraffes' eyes are able to produce colored pigment. If they were albino, then their eyes would be a pale pink in color. 

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Although it is a very rare condition, leucism is not unknown in the natural world. Another giraffe calf with the same condition was recently discovered in Tanzania, in the Tarangire National Park. 

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But leucism doesn't only affect giraffes. National Geographic also shared recent footage of a white moose caught on camera in Sweden that suffers from the same disorder. White lions and white penguins have also been seen. 

While there is no genetic disadvantage to the giraffes with leucism, their pale color could offer them a different conundrum: as pale as they are, they could be far more easily seen by natural predators. 

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Due to their color - or lack thereof - they would be much more conspicuous to both animal and human hunters. 

Unfortunately, giraffes already have a difficult start to their lives, with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation estimating that less than 50% of giraffes reach adulthood on the Serengeti. 

This is due to their natural enemies, such as crocodiles, lions, hyenas, and leopards. 

Giraffes' coloring could help them to hide better behind trees and bushes, but those suffering with leucism would not be able to enjoy that extra level of protection. 

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