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Albinism is a genetic condition in which the skin lacks pigments, resulting in the pale appearance – pale skin, hair and eyes . Those with albinism may suffer from eye/vision problems as a result of their condition. While rare, there are people who have albinism which only affects the eyes, This is known as ocular albinism.
For more information regarding albinism, check out this document on albinism by the National Organisation for Albinism and Hypopigmentation.
Albinism is not isolated to a specific group of animals. Sightings are rare, but when spotted, these seemingly normal and even common animals appears more majestic and magical.
The gorilla above is named Snowflakes and lived in the Barcelona Zoo until he died in 2003 due to Skin Cancer. Discovery News has a great article about Snowflakes – talks about why he was an Albino, which was credited to inbreeding.
This awesome picture of a rare Albino Hummingbird was only possible by the Shank family, whose father Kevin Shank runs the Nature Friend Magazine.
The only known white whale in the world, this is Milagoo – Australia’s most well-known humpback whale!
I hope what these pictures show is the beauty in albinism, a genetic condition that some have, but nothing more. While those in developed countries have largely accepted and understood albino people, there are still those that suffer from discrimination and ill treatment because of albinism.
This cannot be more true in places such as Africa and India, where albinos stand out so much more from their community. While understanding more about albinism, I can across this documentary episode titled Africa Investigates: The spell of the Albino. It is an eye opener on the threat many African Albinos live through as they are a target to be used an ingredient for witchcraft.
If you thought that only happened to animals, you were not alone. I was only aware of about this upon doing this blog post, and credit truly goes to the great journalism done by the team behind the documentary who were also able to scare one of the witch doctors shitless after witnessing his evil doings firsthand.
If you have the time, do watch the documentary below.