Poachers have recently killed two extremely rare white giraffes in northeast Kenya, leaving just one such white giraffe in the world.
About White Giraffe and Leucism
- The white appearance of the giraffe is due to a condition called leucism.
- It is a genetic condition that causes skin cells to have no pigmentation.
- It is different from albinism where no melanin is produced at all. Leucism, on the other hand, is partial and leads to the pale or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticles, but not the eyes.
- Unlike albino animals, leucistic animals retain some essence of their normal pigmentation.
- Animals with leucism may have darker pigment in their soft tissue.
- Giraffes with leucism retain their dark eyes, whereas animals with albinism have pink eyes.
- Birds, lions, fish, peacocks, penguins, eagles, hippos, moose and snakes have all displayed traits of leucism.
Also read: Economics of Animal Rearing