Have you ever seen a pink hippo? Well now you have! A French couple were able to photograph one they spotted while visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The pink is caused by a skin condition called leucism.
As noted in the New York Post, the unusual rose-colored hippo was photographed by a French couple in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. And though the bathing beauty stands out from the crowd, that’s not necessarily a good thing for hippos. Their usual gray color allows them to blend in with the scenery and hide from predators; it also prevents sunburn.
This hippo’s pink hue, with speckled gray spots, is the result of a condition called leucism, meaning a partial loss of pigmentation. This is different from being albino, in which an absence of melatonin prevents any color from being displayed throughout the body (including in the eyes). Leucism affects only the skin, scales, or feathers. That’s why this hippo’s eyes look as dark (and might we add, intelligent) as the rest of the herd.
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