The lone white male giraffe in Kenya thought to be the last one of its kind gets fitted with a tracking device, according to a CNN report.
Why The Need For A GPS Tracker?
Authorities from the conservation area located in Garissa County gave a press release on Tuesday.
The GPS tracker will ping the whereabouts of the creature every hour, said the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, CNN reported.
BBC reported that the device was attached to one of the hairy horns (ossicone) to protect him from poachers while grazing.
Because of the tracker, rangers can monitor the animal’s activity in the conservation area.
Ahmed Noor said that the grazing area was “blessed with good rain.”
The manager of the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy added that “the abundant vegetation bodes well” for its future.
Where Are the Other White Giraffes?
Poachers slaughtered its family members in March of this year, according to Al Jazeera.
Hirola Community Conservancy (HCC) released a statement about the dead animals.
Locals found the mother and the calf “in a skeletal state” after armed poachers killed them, HCC said.
According to a 2016 CNN article, Dr. Derek Lee looks after another white giraffe in Tarangire National Park.
“Omo,” named after a soap, is the sole “leucistic” known out of 23,000 Masai giraffes in Tanzania, said the Wild Nature Institute founder.
Albino? Not At All
Despite being white, the solitary male giraffe is not an albino but is leucistic.
Leucism is a genetic peculiarity that is similar to vitiligo in humans.
This unique genetic trait results in the partial loss of pigmentation in an animal, according to Nat Geo.
Leucistic animals continue to produce a dark pigment in their soft tissue.
Also, they retain dark eyes.
Why They Are Targets of Poaching
Poachers, according to Greentumble, butcher giraffes not only because of their meat but also for their tails and their pelts.
The tall and docile creatures provide a lot of meat and are easy to kill, hence, susceptible to poaching.
Besides, people believe that giraffe bone marrow and brains can protect and cure people of HIV/ AIDS, per Greentumble.