What is supposedly the world’s first spotless giraffe has been born in a Tennessee zoo, becoming the first enclosure to host such a rare specimen.
The female giraffe was born on the 31st of July and has a uniform brown colour. The young giraffe, born at Brights zoo, is missing the iconic spotted appearance which normally serves as camoflauge for wild giraffes.
Already 6 feet tall, it is currently under the care of its mother and the zoo staff. The spots also operate as a form of thermal regulation as the skin under the markings utilise a blood vessel system that allows the animal to release heat through the centre.
Furthermore, each pattern of patches is uniquely different for each giraffe – well, all of them except for this particular giraffe, whose name is still being picked.
Currently, the names in the ballot are Kipekee, meaning ‘unique’, Firayali, meaning ‘unusual’, Shakiri, meaning ‘she is most beautiful, or Jamella, for ‘one of great beauty’.
Currently, giraffe populations in the wild are suffering ‘silent extinction’, due to it being such a slow decline. 40% of the wild giraffe population was lost in the last 30 years, with around 68,000 left in the wild.