Telling Holyoke High's Story Since 1898

The Herald

Telling Holyoke High's Story Since 1898

The Herald

Telling Holyoke High's Story Since 1898

The Herald

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A Miracle: The Spotless Giraffe


On July 31, 2023, a reticulated giraffe was born at a Tennessee zoo. Everybody was surprised to see that the giraffe was born without spots! This was a shock because all reticulated giraffes are born with an orange and brown spot pattern, which is how we are able to tell the difference between the species. In the wild, there are about 16,000 reticulated giraffes left, and over the last 3 decades the giraffe populations have  decreased by around 50%.


As of 2018, they have been declared endangered. However, there are conservationists in Kenya working to increase the population. 


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In all, there are four main species of giraffe and several subspecies. Depending on the species of giraffe, the pattern type varies. The most common giraffe is the Southern Giraffe and it takes up 50% of the giraffe population across Southern Africa. A subspecies of the Southern giraffe is the Angolan giraffe. 


The only other known records of another giraffe being born without spots are from Japan in the 1970’s. 


The first ever spotless giraffe found in the wild was an Angolan Giraffe. On Monday, September 11 2023, the rare giraffe was found walking on Mount Etjo Safari Lodge. This is the first ever Giraffe found in the wild without any spots.


Typically most giraffes are born at 6 feet tall with their own pattern, making them unique and not like any other Giraffe. So for two spotless Giraffes to be born and discovered in the last two months is a rare coincidence. 


Scientists are unsure of the reason for no spots on the giraffe. Though some think it can be a possible genetic mutation, others think it may be the result of  a recessive genotype in the giraffes family. Some scientists are completely unsure.


Ultimately the beautiful species needs to be saved! Our scientists believe that the world’s tallest land walking mammals are in the face of extinction. Some ways that people can prevent this is to stop hunting Giraffes. Giraffe hunting is popular and it is one of the main reasons Giraffes are endangered. 

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