The world’s only known white giraffe has been fitted with a GPS tracking device to keep poachers at bay in North-East Kenya. Rangers can now monitor the lone male giraffe’s movements around the clock to keep him away from poachers.
The white giraffe has a scarce genetic condition, which causes the loss of pigmentation in his skin. He is known to be the last of his kind after poachers killed two of his family members last March. Rangers in North-East Kenya fear the giraffe could suffer the same fate as his relatives.
They were a female and her seven-month-old calf with similar white skin whose bodies were found in a conservation area in Kenya’s north-east Garissa Country – where the male Giraffe is currently living. The non-profit organisation said the tracking device would give hourly updates on the giraffe’s whereabouts, allowing rangers to “keep the unique animal safe from poachers”.
Mohammed Ahmednoor, Manager of Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, thanked conservationists for protecting the giraffe. “The giraffe’s grazing range has been blessed with good rains in the recent past, and the abundant vegetation bodes well for the future of the white male,” he said.
White giraffes were first spotted in Kenya in March 2016. Giraffes are native to roughly 15 African countries, and they are the world’s tallest mammal – unfortunately, they are hunted by poachers for their hides, meat and body parts. “40% of the population of giraffes have disappeared in the last 30 years – with poaching and wildlife tracking contributing to the decline,” the Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) states. Giraffes are classed as a vulnerable species and are on The International Union for Conversation of Nature’s Red List.