IJARA, Kenya — A female white giraffe and her calf killed by poachers were found in a village in north-eastern Kenya's Garissa County, according to community members and rangers of Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.
The giraffe's remains were found in a skeletal state. After finding the bones, wildlife officials estimated they had been there for at least four months.
"This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffes," said Mohammed Ahmednoor, manager of the reserve in Garissa County, Kenya, in a news release. "This is a long term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers, has now gone down the drain."
After this incident, only one white giraffe, a male, remains.
The poachers have not yet been identified, and their motive is still unclear.
The white giraffe made headlines in 2017 after being discovered with her calf. The animals generated a lot of interest globally and was highlighted by major news outlets.
Officials said the giraffes get their color not from being albino, but from a condition known as leucism. Unlike albinism, animals with leucism continues to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, which means their eyes were a dark color.
"Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wake up call for continued support to conservation efforts," Ahmednoor added.