Video Of The Week — Rare White Giraffes Sighted In Kenya

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Photo Credit: Hirola Conservation Center

Earlier this year in June, a villager in Garissa County, Kenya stumbled upon a rare sight — two white giraffes! Having never seen anything like it before, he immediately ran over to inform the rangers at the nearby Hirola Conservation Center, established to protect the critically endangered hirola antelope. Cameras in hand, the troopers rushed to the area to capture the first-ever video of the extremely rare specimens, who fortunately, appeared to be in no hurry to leave.

Not surprisingly, the recently-released footage of the adult and juvenile giraffe is creating a stir worldwide. According to experts, the lack of color is not a result of albinism, a congenital disorder caused by the reduction or absence of the pigment melanin. Instead, these giraffes have a condition called leucism, which is characterized by a partial loss of a number of different types of pigments, not just melanin. This causes the skin to appear patchy, or entirely white. While the juvenile giraffe in the video still has some faint spots, the rangers expect them to fade away as the animal becomes older.

Photo Credit: Hirola Conservation Center

Before this, there have only been a few other sightings of leucistic giraffes. In January 2015, the first specimen, a calf, was seen at Tanzania's Tarangire National Park. Named Omo after a popular local detergent, it was spotted at the same park again in January 2016. A few months later, in April 2016, another one was spotted and captured on camera in the vicinity of the most recent sightings. Hopefully, the giraffes will continue to delight the locals and the world with more frequent visits.

Resources: Hirola Conservation Center

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Reading Comprehension (10 questions)

  1. What did the Kenyan villager see in June?
  2. Why did he run over to the Hirola Conservation Center?

Critical Thinking Challenge

What should be done to protect these rare animals?

Vocabulary in Context

“A few months later, in April 2016, another one was spotted and captured on camera in the vicinity of the most recent sightings.”

In the above sentence, the word vicinity most...

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  • mamphersFriday, October 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm
    • mazieFriday, October 20, 2017 at 9:41 am
      • Ashton D.Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:24 am
        So COOL!
        • loliThursday, October 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm
          omg so cool
          • skylerThursday, October 19, 2017 at 4:37 pm
            wow this is bad
            • AllyThursday, October 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm
              I love when White rare G-raph was kk.
              • antrim4
                antrim4Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 11:50 am
                sooo cuuuutttttttteeeee
                • TamyaThursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:58 am
                  they have no spots or lines
                  • OlliWednesday, October 18, 2017 at 4:37 pm
                    Wow! That is sooo cool!😍 I wish I had a giraffe. But, they wouldn’t fit in my house...🙄
                    • AYYWednesday, October 18, 2017 at 11:27 am
                      I'm really not surprised there rare if human kind destroyed every thing like cup head by fan art and tigers for fur

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