Video footage of two extremely rare white reticulated giraffes that have been found living in eastern Kenya is melting the hearts of wildlife fans around the world.
Conservationists filmed the ghostly looking mother and her adorable calf — who both have the pigmentation-inhibiting genetic condition of leucism — walking together on the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy in Garissa County in June.
“They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence,” the Hirola Conservation Program, which manages the area, wrote on its blog. The staff had been tipped off by locals about the animals’ location.
“The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signaling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes –- a characteristic of most wildlife mothers in the wild to prevent the predation of their young,” it added.
The conservancy first shared the 64-second clip online in August, but it picked up traction this week and is now going viral.
It’s only the third known sighting of white giraffes (also known as leucistic giraffes) in recent years, per the organization.
A white giraffe who has since been named Omo was found living in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park in 2015, while another sighting of a white giraffe was reported in March 2016 on the same Ishaqbini Hirola Conservancy where the mother and calf were found.
It’s unclear how many white giraffes are currently living in the wild, although the giraffe species as a whole is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Their current population is believed to be less than 80,000, with reticulated giraffes accounting for fewer than 8,700 of that.