Wajib sokong Morsi - Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi HOME

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rare pink hippo spotted in Kenya

A rare pink hippopotamus swims in a river with its mother in September 2010 in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The rare pink hippopotamus stands next to a river in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Photo: BURRARD-LUCAS / BARCROFT

It's more than just a hallucination when you've had a drink too many -- pink hippos are real! A very rare pink hippopotamus was spotted by nature photographers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas during a visit to the Masai Mara in Kenya. Spotting the animal was lucky for at least two reasons -- first, their guide had heard rumors about it, but didn't know where to find it, and second, animals that suffer this condition don't usually live very long. But you might be surprised to know that this is not albinism, but something else entirely.

Rather than albino, the young hippo is actually leucitic -- it has some pigmented spots, especially along its back and head, and has dark eyes whereas albino animals have blue eyes. Usually, animals with these conditions don't survive since they're easily spotted by predators. However, who messes with a hippo, even if it is pink??

This one is young, but the photographers report that it is also quite shy, keeping close to its mother. And mother hippos are known for being extremely protective. I think this little one is safe for now.

pink hippo photo
The Burrard-Lucas brothers state, "Being an animal that is so strikingly different often results in a hard life; these creatures frequently become outcasts, rejected by their conventionally colored peers. In this case however, we were relieved to note that the other hippos seemed to be treating the pink hippo just like any other."