This month, rangers in a village in Grassia County in Kenya discovered the bodies of two rare white giraffes, a mother and her calf. The giraffes—which are white due to a pigmentation condition called leucism—lived at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, an open conservation area. “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 giraffe,” Mohammed Ahmednoor, manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, said. “[Their] killing is a blow to the tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species and a wake-up call for continued support to conservation efforts.” The Kenya Wildlife Society is searching for the parties responsible for these killings whose motives have not been identified. According to conservationists, only one white giraffe still exists in the wild. A report published last year in the scientific journal Conservation Letters found that meat-eaters and poachers are responsible for driving 59 percent of the largest animals on earth (referred to as “megafauna,” which include giraffes) toward extinction.

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