World’s last known white giraffe fitted with GPS tracker to warn off poachers

The world’s last known white giraffe has been fitted with a GPS tracker to protect it from poachers.

Reports say the endangered animal is on its own in Kenya after the only female and her calf were killed by poachers in March. The remaining male was born by the same tragically slaughtered female.

A tracking device has been attached to one of the majestic creature’s horns so wildlife rangers can keep an eye on its movements.

It will work by pinging every hour to alert them to the animal’s location.

The death of the female and her calf came as a huge blow to conservation efforts.



White giraffe
The world’s last white giraffe has been fitted with a GPS tracker to protect it from poachers
(Image: Caters News Agency/AFP via Getty)

Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of Kenya’s Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, said: “It’s 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.

“This is a long-term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers has now gone to the drain.

“Further to this, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area.”



White giraffe
The species are one of the most endangered in the world
(Image: Caters News Agency/AFP via Getty)

The white colour that makes these particular giraffes so rare is a genetic trait known as leucism.

It is different from albinism because it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.

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The unique colour makes the animals stand out to poachers near the border with Somalia. They are hunted for their meat and hides.

Conservation workers recalled how they were tipped off about the white giraffes in 2017: “They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence.

“The mother kept pacing back and forth a few years in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.”

They said the mother’s behaviour was “characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young”.