white giraffe
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
November 18, 2020 ·  2 min read

World’s only white giraffe is fitted with GPS tracking in bid to protect it from poachers

After the devastating news back in March that poachers killed two of the remaining three white giraffes, a conservation group has taken action. In order to protect the world’s only white giraffe left, they have placed a GPS tracker on one of his horns. This tracker allows rangers to monitor the single male in real-time and keep him safe from poachers. (1)

Tracking the World’s Only White Giraffe GPS

Last March, poachers killed a female white giraffe and her calf in Kenya. They both had a genetic condition called leucism, which is similar to albinism except they maintain the dark pigments in their soft tissue, such as their eyes. (2)

Image Credit: Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy

Conservationists believe that this lone male is the only white giraffe left in the world. Knowing he is likely an even greater target now than ever before, the rangers in the Garissa County of Kenya have stepped up their conservancy game to protect him. (1)

The white giraffe, who lives in the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy, is now fitted with a GPS tracking system. They attached the GPS to one of his horns on November 8. The device provides rangers with hourly updates on his location so that rangers can keep a closer watch over him. The hope is that they will be able to protect him from lurking poachers. (1)

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A Positive Outlook

Despite the threat of poachers, conservancy manager Mohammed Ahmednoor says that otherwise, the white giraffe’s prospects for survival look good. (1)

“The giraffe’s grazing range has been blessed with good rains in the recent past and the abundant vegetation bodes well for the future of the white male,” he explained. (1)

Not only will this provide him with plenty of food to eat, but it will also hopefully give more protection. (1)

Image Credit: CNN

Conservation of all giraffes is highly important. The International Union for Conservation of Nature currently designates Giraffes as a “vulnerable” species. (1) In the last 30 years, the giraffe population decreased by 40%, primarily due to poaching and wildlife trafficking. (2)

Groups involved in protecting this special giraffe and others are (2):

  • Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Save Giraffes Now
  • Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT)

“Our mission is to work with communities, enable them [to] be resilient, secure their livelihoods as well as protect the unique wildlife like the only known white giraffe,” said Antony Wandera, senior wildlife monitoring officer at the NRT. (2)

Let’s hope that the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy rangers will be able to keep the last remaining white giraffe safe.

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