Nicki Coertze was on safari in Africa when he spotted something extraordinarily spectacular.
One day during his vacation, he and his family sighted a great herd of African elephants.
And right behind was a tiny baby calf with floppy, bright pink ears and a coat of muddy, pink-colored skin.
She stood next to her mother, and drank from the nearby river.
This little baby elephant has albinism — which is an extremely rare condition among African elephants.
Like humans who have albinism, most of the albino animals lack pigment in their skin, hair, scales, and feathers.
Unlike humans, however, albinism in animals is considered to be a hereditary condition.
Just by looking at the baby elephant, you can tell her condition will affect her life and well-being.
She will face many risks throughout her life, especially in her youth.
Fortunately, the calf will grow up in relative safety inside the national park, which will protect her from greedy poachers and hunters.
Over time, however, excessive exposure to the sun will likely hurt the baby elephant, and damage her skin, which lacks sufficient pigment.
And, like other albino animals (including humans), she may suffer from blindness later in life.
Despite her potential struggles, the baby elephant was perfectly happy, frolicking among family and friends.
“I took some lovely shots of the pink elephant. Some of the shots show it framed by the legs of another elephant, you can really see the contrast in color between the two as the calf shows off its unique pinkness beautifully,” Nicki said.
Nicki also said that he has been visiting the same national park for decades, since he was a kid.
In all these years, he has never seen an albino elephant before.
“Bearing that in mind, I have an idea that this is a once-in-a-lifetime sighting for me,” he said.
In most animal species, albinos can look quite different from the rest of the group, and are even looked upon as bizarre and unnatural.
As a result, many albino animals are sadly rejected by their own species.
Luckily, it seems that this little baby elephant is happily accepted by her herd, who will hopefully continue to love and protect the calf.
We hope this beautiful little baby will grow up peacefully and healthily in the safari.
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