Thought To Be The Last Female White Giraffe In The World Slaughtered By Poachers

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Deanna Rivera in World News

Last updated: 12 March 2020, 05:10 GMT

The Kenya Wildlife Service, the main conservation body in the East African state, are investigating the deaths of two rare white female giraffe, thought to the last of its kind in the world, which has been killed by poachers.

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On Tuesday, Ishaqbini Hirola Conservation Program said in a statement, an adult female giraffe and her calf were found by the locals in a skeletal state and were thought to have died at least four months ago. The statement added the animals had been killed by armed poachers.

"This is a dark day not only to the conservation community but also to all the Kenyans who took pride in the existence of this unique species.”

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In 2017, the program explained the rare animals had a condition called leucism, which differs from albinism, the loss of all pigmentation and affects the color of the eyes, the National Park Service says.

The rare giraffes had been living at the Kenyan wildlife sanctuary. The Kenya Wildlife Service was called to investigate the disappearance after the animals had been seen for several weeks.

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"The management of the conservancy informed us of the missing giraffe and calf after failing to see them for a period of time,"

Mohammed Ahmednoor, manager of the reserve in Garissa County, Kenya, said in a press release,

“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,”

He described the killing of the giraffes as,

“Blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts.”

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The female giraffe give birth to a male calf in 2017 and another one in 2019, the Wildlife Service said.

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The Northern Rangelands Trust says through twitter, the three white giraffes had formed a family. But after killing the mother and calf, only one white male remains.

They were first seen in Kenya in March 2016, but the family made headlines in 2017 after their distinctive hide was photographed.

According to the Africa Wildlife Foundation, 40 percent of the giraffe population has been lost in just 30 years, with poaching and wildlife trafficking are contributing to this decline.

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