Snow white giraffe will brighten your day

Kenyan animal has leucism, a condition that causes a partial loss in pigmentation
white giraffe Wait a second. This is NOT what we meant by "snow white giraffe"! (Jens Stolt | Dreamstime.com)


With the first day of spring upon us (yep, it's really today, even if it might not feel like it where you are), you would be forgiven for not being interested in a story with the phrase "snow white" in the title.

But this isn't some story about a blizzard or a snow drift. This is about a rare, beautiful white giraffe from Kenya. Two of them, actually! So gather 'round, we're going on safari!

You giraffe to see this!

The existence of a white giraffe mother and calf had been flying around the Hirola Conservation Program, found in Garissa County, Kenya. Finally, a pair of park rangers got lucky last summer, capturing the only known video footage of this type of animal.

Watch below as the mom and baby peacefully forage for leaves and go about their day.

Albi-No

Usually when we see a white version of a species, they are referred to as albino. Simply put, an albino animal lacks skin and hair pigment, and often also has a lack of colour in the iris of the eyes.

Embed from Getty Images

A different leucistic giraffe from Tanzania. In its case, its pattern is just faded and patchy, not absent. (Getty Embed)

But these giraffes are not albino. They are leucistic. Leucism (say LOO-kih-zem) is similar to albinism, except it is only a partial loss of pigment and does not affect the eyes. Not all leucistic animals appear all white—many are just patchier in their colouring or patterns. But in the case of these two lovely animals, they are almost fully white.

So you see, not everything "snow white" is chilly. We feel warmer already!


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