Two of the world's last white giraffes shot by poachers

So, it looks like humanity has done it once again. On March 11, 2020, Live Science reported that the rangers at Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy — a nature conservation area in Garissa County, Kenya — finally found out what happened to the two ultra-rare white giraffes that have been AWOL for months. A mother giraffe and a seven-month-old calf were finally discovered ... as skeletal carcasses that appear to have been killed some four months ago. Yes, of course it was poachers. 

We don't need to spell out how tragic this is. After all, the conservancy's manager, Mohammed Ahmednoor, is more than happy to do that for us. "This is a very sad day for the community ... and Kenya as a whole," he said in a statement. "We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe." Yes, the only community in the world watching over white giraffes. How could this get any more depressing? 

There might only be one white giraffe left

By reading on, that's how. (Sorry.) It turns out there's only one more white giraffe remaining in the conservancy, and they believe it may very well be the last one in the world. The thing is, these giraffes aren't albino. They're actually reticulated giraffes whose peculiar color comes from leucism, a condition many mammal species can have. Leucism causes the animal to partially loses the pigmentation on its skin, and it just so happens that it's very, very rare on giraffes. 

Apart from the single male specimen still living at the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, we only know of one other leucism giraffe out there. That one resides in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, and we haven't seen that guy since early 2016. While that doesn't necessarily mean that the animal has since moved to the realm of ex-giraffes, it must be mentioned that the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers all reticulated giraffes to be endangered, mostly due to poaching and assorted human activities. So, it seems that one ultra-rare white one hanging out in a national park would be hyper endangered, to say the least.   

So, yeah. The guy still alive in Kenya might genuinely be the last living white giraffe out there. As a small silver lining, the Kenya Wildlife Service is currently on the case. Here's hoping that a grizzled wildlife detective is able to track down the poachers and bring them to justice.