This Rare Baby Elephant was Born Pink Because of Albinism, But is Surviving Against All Odds (Kenya)


Shreya Chauhan, India Times

Date Published

See link for photos.  

Albinism is a rare group of genetic disorders that causes the skin, hair, or eyes to have little or no color. Albinism is also associated with vision problems, according to Health Line. It basically occurs because of the deficiency of melanin and apparently, it does not just occur in humans.

A baby elephant was found to be born with albinism, but the calf has been surviving in the wild against all odds, valiantly battling problems caused by its skin pigmentation. 

The rare pink calf was born in April, 2019, in Maasai Mara, Kenya. The beautiful calf was caught on camera by a wildlife photographer who spotted its unusual pigmentation. 

Mostafa El Borolossy, a ranger who runs a safari camp, talked about the sighting of the elephant calf, “It was a rare sighting. Rare creatures are always the most attractive for any wildlife photographer and getting the chance to watch and photograph it was like a dream. As I live in the Maasai Mara running my cozy camp here, I got a news over the radio of female elephant giving birth to an albino baby,” Daily Mail quoted him as saying.  

He further said, “I finished my job, packed my camera and went looking for it with one of our guides. We got the surprise in the afternoon after quiet long time of searching only very few people had come to see it as no one expected it to be an albino one. I was very lucky to get the chance to see and photograph this extremely rare baby.”·  

El Borolossy said the calf was thriving despite the harsh sunlight which was not suitable for it. “He was surrounded and very well protected by the herd, trying to feed from the mum and walk with her,” he said.  

Albinism causes poor eyesight as mentioned before and it could eventually lead to blindness as the calf gets older. 

It is not uncommon for elephants to have non-pigmented patches of skin behind their ears, but more often than not, true albinos are rejected by their own because of their unusual appearance. Guess this one is also lucky, apart from being rare, because its mother chose to stay by its side.