Rare white giraffes killed in “cruel act” of poaching in Kenya

Wildlife conservationists are condemning the “heinous” and “selfish” poachers who killed two rare white giraffes in Kenya.

The Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy and Kenya Wildlife Service are investigating the deaths of a mother and her calf.

“Our teams on the ground have seen bones believed to be those of the two giraffes,” the KWS posted on Facebook March 10. “The bones are estimated to be four months old.”

“The management of the conservancy informed us of the missing giraffe and calf after failing to see them for a period of time,” the agency added.

The two poached white giraffes. Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy /Facebook

The white giraffe was first seen at the conservancy in 2016 by camel herders. Then, the white adult reticulated giraffe was photographed. (Experts said the animal had leucism, which is is a condition where there is a partial loss of pigmentation.)

Rare white giraffe spotted in Kenya in 2016. Jamie Manuel Photography

She went to give birth to two calves — both white. The most recent calf arrived last August.

Now, only the older calf remains.

It’s heartbreaking for those working to protect the iconic animals.

“First, I would like to take this opportunity to condemn the heinous act,the coward and selfish mind that cut short the lives of beautiful nature and the enduring mother and her young baby calf,” the community conservancy posted on Facebook.

“It’s a cruel act,” says the Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy, which shared this photo.

The organization called it devastating for the region and the world.

“It’s very sad how a mother who gave birth during the toughest moment of drought (August 2019) enduring all the suffering, but end up being killed during the heavy rains – when the vegetation is back greener and healthier to regenerate and restore her energy and enhance the growth of her second baby,” the conservancy wrote. “It’s cruel act.”

The group thanked the world for its outpouring of condolences and offers of support.

And it added this case isn’t isolated.

“It’s a true reflection and a picture of how most of the iconic species are threatened daily by selfish humans within our planet,” the conservancy added. “As a society we must stand up for the voiceless animals, remember the role of the dedicated rangers alone is not enough, we need ambassadors, volunteers of good will to saving our pride.”

Now, the group is hoping the lone male calf has strong enough genes to produce other “magic white” calves.

“The threat to conservation is real and we must do something to change such bad news happening again,” it said.

Meanwhile, the KWS are working with community rangers and the conservancy to find out what happened.

And, work to protect wildlife down the road.

“We wish to inform the public that we work closely with all community managed conservancies in protecting wildlife,” KWS added.

Because all lives are worth preserving.

Photos Ishaqbini-Hirola Community Conservancy/Facebook/Jamie Manuel Photography

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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