Photos by Will & Matt Burrard-Lucas
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.
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.
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.”