Photo in the News: Rare White Giraffe Spotted in Africa

Photo: A white giraffe
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September 13, 2005—He had only a ghost of a chance, but after more than a decade of searching, a wildlife researcher has captured proof of a white giraffe. In this photo released September 6, the unusual beast and its companions stroll through a wilderness preserve in the African country of Tanzania.

Charles Foley of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) first heard reports of the white giraffe in Tarangire National Park in 1993. For 12 years he kept an eye out for the living legend while conducting his daily business of studying the park's savanna elephant populations.

"By 1994 the sightings stopped coming in, so I assumed it had died, either at the hand of man or beast," Foley said in a WCS press release. "I never stopped looking though."

Foley's diligence paid off when he was conducting an aerial survey of the elephants earlier this month and saw a glimmer of white amid the trees. His photo, taken from a plane flying some 62 miles an hour (100 kilometers an hour), shows a pale giraffe with brown coloring on its legs.

According to Foley, the animal is not a true albino but is merely a lighter color than the average giraffe.

—Victoria Gilman

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