Tourist Nicki Coertze was in the Kruger National Park in South Africa with his family when he bumped into something unusual. He saw a herd of elephants drinking water in the Shingwedzi river. What caught him by surprise was a tiny “pinky” calf, whose striking color distinctively stood out.
The pink baby elephant stood close to his mother by the river. The small pachyderm adorably flapped his pink ears as he frolicked around by the edge of the river.
“We took pictures of the elephant through the car window, I was trying to keep super still in spite of the excitement of the others in the car,” Coertze, a minister from Polokwane, South Africa, told the Caters News Agency.
“I was really hoping the pink ellie would play in the water a bit, and wash all the dirt off, so we could see him in all his pinkness,” he said.
“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.”
The pink calf, believed to be an albino, was a rare sight and a “once-in-a-lifetime sighting” for Coertze.
“I have been visiting Kruger since my early childhood, and have over the last many years been spending at least 20 to 30 days in Kruger every year,” said Coertze. “I have never seen an albino elephant before,” and neither had his many friends.
Experts said albinism is an extremely rare phenomenon among African elephants, and it’s more commonly found among Asian elephants, as the BBC reported.
“Amazingly, I think we were the only ones excited about the albino Elephant,” he said. “As far as the rest of the herd was concerned they seemed to just accept him in their stride.”
None of the photos of this cute albino elephant showed his wide-open eyes because his pink eyes are “very sensitive to sunlight.”
“Albino elephants are renowned to not have strong eye sight,” Coertze explained.
Sadly, the lack of pigment in this calf may cause him to suffer blindness later in life. He may also develop some skin problems as his sensitive skin is constantly exposed to the blazing African sunlight.
Other than that, albino animals will be viewed as a prized hunt by poachers due to their unique color. But, thankfully, for this puny albino elephant, he will likely remain safe as he lives under protection in the Kruger National Park.