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Rare white giraffes dead in Kenya, likely killed by poachers

Authorities in Kenya are investigating reports that two rare white giraffes have died and that poachers are likely responsible for the deaths.

The Hirola Conservation Program announced Tuesday the adult female giraffe and her calf were found dead. In 2017, the program explained the rare animals had a condition called leucism, resulting in the partial loss of the giraffes’ pigmentation.

“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,” a release says.

Locals found the carcasses of the animals and the conservation program believes the giraffes were killed by poachers.

The Kenya Wildlife Service is investigating the deaths and has found the remains of two giraffes, the agency announced on Twitter Tuesday. The bones appeared to be about four months old, the agency said.

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

Leucism differs from albinism, which is marked by the loss of all pigmentation and affects the color of the eyes, the National Park Service says.

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