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A Pink Elephant?

I’ve done a lot of research on Kruger National Park and I’ve decided that it’s a place I would like to some day visit. Now, with their famous pink elephant, I’m sure many others will have the same dream. It’s a huge nature preserve in Africa where you can see the animals in their natural habitat, mostly undisturbed by us humans. Just recently a baby elephant was discovered there, this baby is different from the rest with its rare pink color.

It turns out that pink elephants aren’t only seen after a person has had too much to drink. Although, I don’t know anyone who that has actually happened to. Pink elephants are very rare, especially among African elephants. This is a much more common occurrence in Asian elephants. These precious baby elephants who are born pink grow to be white elephants. An extremely select few are actual albino elephants.

The differences between a white elephant and a true albino are slight, but noticeable. A white elephant starts out with this pink color, but has dark eyes and pigment spots. As it grows it retains a lighter color than other elephants but isn’t truly white. They are usually a reddish brown color and still look pink when wet. True albino elephants turn out looking very similar to white elephants. They’re not actually white either, but far lighter than the rest of the family. The difference is in the lack of spotty patches or pigmentation and in their eyes as well. A true albino will have those eerie red or pink eyes.

The pink baby that was discovered at Kruger National Park is believed to be a true albino African elephant. Having pink eyes and no discernible spots, this baby is somewhat of a holy grail in its rarity. But cute as it may be, albino elephants are prone to certain health issues. Due to their lack of pigmentation that protects their darker counterparts from the sun, they’re likely to acquire skin problems and in some cases blindness. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to this little one, so that it can be admired for a very long time.

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Julie Antonson

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