The GPS tracking device will be attached to one of the giraffe's horns and will ping every hour to alert wildlife rangers of its location.
The White giraffe has long been a symbol of wonder and awe for the people of Kenya. Unfortunately, they have been poached nearly out of existence and there is only one male white giraffe left. This giraffe stands alone after a female and her calf were killed by poachers in March, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement. In one last effort to protect the species, the last giraffe will be fitted with a GPS tracking device to help protect it from any future threats as it continues to graze in its natural habitat, Daily Mail reported.
The world's last known white giraffe was fitted with a GPS tracker to protect it from poachers in Kenya.— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 18, 2020
The only other 2 white giraffes were killed in March — a mother and calf. Experts say the white color makes it easier for poachers to spot them.
(📷: Hirola Conservancy) pic.twitter.com/oOKsMGRSYB
Giraffes are not typically white and it is a rare genetic trait called leucism that causes the color. This last surviving white giraffe stands out dangerously against poachers in the arid savannah near the Somalia border. The GPS tracking device will be attached to one of the giraffe's horns and will ping every hour to alert wildlife rangers of its location. The conservancy has thanked the Kenya Wildlife Service along with the Northern Rangelands Trust and Save Giraffes Now for their help and support to protect the last male.
The world's last known white giraffe roaming around in Kenya. Recently, it was fitted with a GPS tracking device in an attempt to keep it safe from poachers. pic.twitter.com/qS0dqWWRTT— Mike Blakey (@BlakeyMoosejaw) November 18, 2020
It was a distressing sight when the bodies of the last female white giraffe and her calf were found "in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers in Garissa in eastern Kenya in March", the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement. The remaining male white giraffe was borne by the same slaughtered female, the conservancy said. "Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts," Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the conservancy, said at the time of the female giraffe's death.
Naturally, this will have serious implications on the biodiversity of the region and its subsequent consequences. "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,' he said. 'Further to this, the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area." The female white giraffe was first spotted on the conservancy in 2017, and then once again when she birthed two calves in August last year. It is said that their alabaster color is caused by a condition known as leucism which is different from albinism. This equally rare condition makes them produce dark pigments in their soft tissues giving them dark eyes.
Close Up: The tallest living mammal captured in Kenya, Africa: The Giraffe. Giraffes only eat plants and only drink water once every few days. @ThePhotoHour #wildlifephotography #NaturePhotography #TwitterNatureCommunity #Kenya #giraffe pic.twitter.com/V814ff2ZAH— Damilice Photography (@DamilicePhoto) November 15, 2020
Workers at the Hirola Conservation Programme revealed in 2017 how the local community rangers had tipped them off about the giraffes. "They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence,' the conservation workers said at the time. "The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signaling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes." "The mother's behavior was a 'characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young,' they said." They also went on to cite that the total number of giraffes in Africa has dropped by 30 percent since the 1980s.