It was exciting news for animal lovers everywhere after a baby giraffe named Kipekee was born at Brights Zoo last month: the baby giraffe was spotless — an extremely rare trait that hadn’t been seen in decades, and experts believed the newborn was the only spotless giraffe in the world.
But in a remarkable twist, another spotless giraffe has been found just weeks later — this time in the wild.
According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, a young solid-color giraffe was recently seen in the wild in Namibia, Africa. They shared a photo of the rare giraffe with its mother:
The spotless giraffe seen in Namibia is a different subspecies than the one recently born in Tennessee — Kipekee is a reticulated giraffe, while the one in the wild is an Angolan giraffe, a subspecies of the southern giraffe native to Namibia.
Spotless giraffes are extremely rare, and the odds that two spotless giraffes, quite possibly the only two in the world, were born so close to each other is remarkable.
When Kipekee was born at Brights Zoo last month, she was thought to be the only spotless giraffe in the world: the last recorded spotless giraffe was born all the way back in 1972 at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
“From day one we’ve been in contact with zoo professionals all over the country,” zoo founder Tony Bright said in a press release. “And especially the old timers, that have been around for a long time, ‘Hey, have you seen this? What’s your thoughts?’ And nobody’s seen it.”
A naming contest was held for the giraffe: the public chose Kipekee, which means unique. While it turns out Kipekee isn’t truly one-of-a-kind, she’s still very special — and it’s nice to know that she has a “twin” out there in the wild.
“While it is exciting to see giraffes in a zoo, especially one as unique as Kipeker, it is more exciting to see one in the wild!” one person commented on Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s post. “Let’s hope and pray that this special caff continues to thrive with Mom.”
While the spotless coat is definitely unique, it’s possible that it could be a challenge for the young one in the wild: a giraffe’s spots usually help it hide from predators.
“In the wild, they use those spots for camouflage,” Bright explained. “By being solid colored, she may not be able to hide quite as well.”
But for now, the young one seems to be doing well in the wild with its mother, and experts will certainly be keeping an eye on this extremely rare creature.
We were amazed when a spotless giraffe was born, but it’s mind-blowing that another spotless giraffe was discovered just weeks later! These are two truly remarkable animals.
Please share this amazing news!