Last Known White Giraffe in World Was Fitted With GPS Tracking Device

The last known and endangered white giraffe was left alone after poachers killed a female and calf.
Brad Bergan

The only known white giraffe still alive was fitted with a GPS tracking device to help it stay safe from poachers while it grazes in Kenya, according to a blog post shared on the country's Northern Rangelands Trust website.

However, the lonely and endangered creature doesn't have a name.


Last-known white giraffe fitted with GPS tracker to keep it alive

The white giraffe is the last one known alive after a group of poachers killed a female and her calf in March, according to a Tuesday statement from the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy.

A rare genetic trait known as leucism is responsible for the pleasant aberration from the conventional yellow giraffes, which sadly makes it stand out as a prime target for poachers of the arid savannah near the Somalia border with Kenya.

The GPS tracking device is attached to one of the giraffe's horns, and pings once per hour to let wildlife rangers know where it is, reports

This was accomplished with help from the Kenya Wildlife Service, in addition to the Northern Rangelands Trust and the Save Giraffes Now organization.

White Giraffe Northern Rangelands Trust
A GPS Satellite unit was fixed to an ossicone (horn) of the white giraffe. Source: NRT

Community efforts may save white giraffe, create jobs

"We are thankful for the tremendous help from KWS, Save Giraffes Now and the Northern Rangelands Trust in furthering community efforts to safeguard wildlife species," said Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy Manager Ahmed Noor, in the blog post. "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."

"I am happy to be part of this collaring exercise that will ensure real time monitoring in time and space as part of National Giraffe Strategy implementation," said KWS Senior Scientist Eastern Conservation Area Geoffrey Bundotich, in the blog post.

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Ishaqibini was established with help from the neighboring communities in the Korisa, Kotile, and Hara regions, who aimed to conserve the ecosystem within Ijara, Garissa County, where animals live in dangerous conditions.

As of writing, 58 people from the community — including 24 scouts — have gained successful employment from the organization.

Climate change exacerbates status of endangered species

The Ijara ecosystem has other endangered species, but of course, it's not the only place on Earth where indigenous life-forms are in danger of going extinct. Even without the onslaught of profit-seeking poachers, the effects of global climate change are bringing untold animals and other life-forms to the brink.

For example, coral reef habitats — where numerous creatures live — could be nearly extinct by 2100. If we're going to minimize the damage done to life on Earth as the biosphere shifts, small acts of kindness like the GPS monitor for the last known white giraffe can last a literal lifetime.

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