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Poachers have slain two extremely rare white giraffes in Kenya, according to conservationists.
The bodies of the animals – a female and her calf – were found by rangers in a village in North Eastern Kenya.
The Kenya Wildlife Society says it is investigating the killings, but the killers – and their motive – haven’t been identified yet.
White giraffes gained notoriety when they were photographed in 2017, in images that spread across the world.
Their white hides are a result of a rare condition called leucism, which causes animals to have a partial loss of pigmentation. If differs from albinism, a condition in which melanin is absent.
‘Very sad day’
Mohammed Ahmednoor is the manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, which is in large, unfenced area which also homes villages. He revealed the two animals were last sighted in the conservancy around three months ago.
He added: “We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe.
“Its killing is a blow to the tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts.”
A third white giraffe – believed to be the last remaining – is still alive.