In early September, British wildlife photographers, Will and Mathew Burrard-Lucas went to Kenya's Masai Mara game preserve, hoping to capture images of the world-famous wildebeest migration. They ended up getting not only stunning migration pictures, but also, those of an extremely rare pink baby hippo.
Following a rather uneventful morning safari, the two were enjoying breakfast on the banks of the Mara River, when they suddenly spotted the hippo trying to emerge from the other side.
They immediately grabbed their cameras and started to take pictures of this incredible little guy as it bumbled around with fellow hippos for about ten minutes, before disappearing into the water again. After that, it bobbed its head up and down every few minutes, as it swam down the rive
As always seems to be the case, while the humans were quite excited to see this unusual sight, the other hippos didn't seem impressed by the pink baby, and treated him just like any ordinary hippo!
The hippo's pink skin is caused by a condition called leucism not albinism. The main difference between the two is that it has some pigmented spots on his skin and inside the eyes. Albino animals have no pigments whatsoever and are therefore, completely pink.
Animals suffering from one of these conditions have a hard time surviving in the wild, either because they are easily spotted by predators or, because they suffer severe sunburn. However, this pink hippo is going to be fine, because at this size, most predators will keep their distance, regardless of the color. And, in the case of hippos their sweat act as a sunscreen, protecting them against the harsh African sun. So, while this may be the first time this pink guy was spotted, it definitely will not be the last!
Sources:national geographic.com, dailymail.co.uk