Rare Kenyan white giraffes killed by poachers

The white giraffes were among the rarest animal species to roam the modern-day African plains.

Unfortunately, they are no more after their celebrity lives were ended abruptly by the hands of poachers.

Rangers at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy, a popular Kenyan wildlife sanctuary housing the rare white giraffes were bewildered after discovering the animals in a skeletal state. 

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Kenya Wildlife Service confirmed the death of the female giraffe and her calf. The rangers were called into the reserve by members of the conservancy after the mysterious disappearance of the mother and her calf. The bones and skeletons were all that was discovered. Rangers estimate it has been four months since they were killed.

Mohammed Ahmednoor, Manager of the reserve in Ijara, Garissa County, expressed his disappointment in the loss of the white giraffes who had become a part of the local community.

The tall African giants made international headlines back in 2017 as word of their white hide stunned many across the world. The giraffe is not an albino, but instead falls under a condition known as leucism. In a sharp distinction from albino animals, animals with leucism keep producing the dark pigment from their soft tissues, resulting in dark eyes. Ahmednoor knew how much their existence would have helped in animal research and studies.

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What was once a happy family of three giraffes that freely roamed the confines of the sanctuary and attracted many tourists from around the world, is now in shatters. Presently only one male white giraffe remains.

A video share of the white giraffe family on YouTube by the Hirola Conservation Program in 2017 garnered over a million views. The giraffes even featured on top international publications such as The National Geographic, The Guardian, USA Today, The Inside Edition and several other publications.

Stats from the African Wildlife Foundation show a loss in 30 percent of the global population of giraffes over wildlife trafficking and poaching. Another rare white giraffe was spotted in Tanzania back in 2016 at Tarangire National Park. Till now, not much is known of what happened to the animal.