A baby giraffe without spots has been spotted in the wild in Namibia. “Giraffes without spots are a rare phenomenon,” said the Namibian giraffe conservation foundation GCF (Giraffe Conservation Foundation). Normally, each giraffe has a unique pattern that makes it individually identifiable. Before the discovery of the spotless giraffe in a private nature reserve in central Namibia, the foundation said there were only three records of spotless giraffes, all in zoos: two in Japan in 1972 and most recently in the United States. The spotless animal in Namibia is the first giraffe in the world to be spotted in the wild, according to the GCF.

The cause of the spots’ absence is unknown, said Julian Fennessy, the GCF director of conservation. It could be caused by mutations in one or more genes related to the pattern, he said. However, without detailed genetic analysis, this remains speculation.

Three weeks ago, the birth of a giraffe in a zoo in the US state of Tennessee made international headlines. The animal was born on July 31st not with the usual light fur with brown spots, but with uniform brown fur. This unusual giraffe was given the name Kipekee, which means “unique” in Swahili.

Website GCF