An entire species will soon go extinct because of human selfishness and greed. Only one white giraffe lives on.
Humankind has ruined a lot of things. From pizza toppings (looking at you, ham and pineapple lovers) to the environment, we're guilty of messing up some of the blessings we've been given. Now we've managed to ruin another good thing. Recently, it was discovered that the last female white giraffe and her male calf were murdered by poachers. The giraffes had called the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Kenya home for the past couple of years. In a press release, the conservancy confirmed that the white giraffes had been killed, CNN reports. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, only one white giraffe remains on our planet.
The white giraffe is among the rarest of animals to exist on planet Earth. The Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy suspected the two giraffes were no more when skeletal remains of a particular animal were discovered at the wildlife sanctuary. After an investigation, it was determined that the remains belonged to a female white giraffe and her son. It was also confirmed that the giraffes were killed by poachers. According to the conservancy's rangers, the Kenya Wildlife Service was called in to investigate when the giraffes were not spotted in the recent. Wildlife officials estimate that the bones had sadly been lying there for at least four months before they were discovered.
In a news release, Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the reserve in Garissa County, Kenya, stated, "This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffes. Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts." The female white giraffe and her calf were first discovered in the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in 2017, when the duo made headlines across the world. A second calf was identified shortly after. The family of three lived a peaceful life within the wildlife sanctuary.
Unfortunately, only one male giraffe remains. Due to their deaths, the conservancy is expected to lose out on major tourism value as well, as travelers from across the world would flock to the sanctuary in order to spot the family of white giraffes. Ahmednoor, highlighting the major loss, noted, "This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone to the drain. Further to this, the white giraffe was in a big boost to tourism in the area." As per information from researchers, the giraffes got their unique white hide due to a condition known as leucism. This genetic condition causes the giraffes' skin cells to fail to produce pigmentation. However, it is different from albinism as animals with leucism continue to generate a dark pigment in their soft tissue. This means the giraffes' eyes were darker in color.
It is estimated that giraffes, the world's tallest land animal, have lost about 40 percent of their total population across the globe as a result of poaching and wildlife trafficking. These statistics are even worse in the case of white giraffes. Though the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania reported the discovery of another white giraffe in their sanctuary in January 2016, it was not immediately known what happened to that particular animal. Needless to say, this was a sad day for humanity.