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01 March 2024 ( 313 views )
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A rare pink elephant calf spotted in Kruger National Park, South Africa

The baby bull elephant likely has albinism, an inherited condition that affects the production of melanin

People say you see pink elephants when you imbibe too much, but this is the real deal.

According to SWNS, safari operator Theo Potgieter spotted a pink African elephant calf at Olifants River in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

Potgieter told SWNS he had heard reports of a pink elephant living in the national park but hadn't seen the colorful creature himself until February.

The little pink elephant bull enjoying swim session with family in South Africa's Kruger Park, February 9 2024

THEO POTGIETER/SWNS

"A handful of sightings have been reported of this young bull in late 2023, but to my knowledge, there is no footage," the safari operator said.

Knowing there likely weren't any photos of the baby elephant yet, Potgieter "grabbed the camera to start shooting for confirmation footage" as soon as he spied the pink pachyderm.

The shots the man captured show the unique animal playing with his family and splashing near the river.

The little pink elephant bull enjoying swim session with family in South Africa's Kruger Park, February 9 2024
A male pink elephant calf with his family at Kruger National Park. 

THEO POTGIETER/SWNS

"What a pleasant surprise," the safari operator said of his experience.

The baby elephant likely has albinism, an inherited condition that affects melanin production, resulting in light skin, eyes, and hair.

"I would estimate the young bull to be one year old, and although complex group dynamics often result in individuals with the recessive gene to be rejected, this little guy was tolerated by all members of the group and seemed to have perfectly fit in," Potgieter said of the pink elephant sighting, adding that he estimates "only 1 out of 10,000 births" result in a lighter colored elephant.

The little pink elephant bull enjoying swim session with family in South Africa's Kruger Park, February 9 2024
A pink elephant calf playing near a river inside Kruger National Park. 

THEO POTGIETER/SWNS

The pink elephant calf isn't the only baby animal with an eye-catching appearance.

On July 31, a spotless giraffe calf was born at Brights Zoo, a private, family-run facility in Limestone, Tennessee.

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In August, Brights Zoo founder Tony Bright told PEOPLE that the last record of a spotless giraffe birth was in 1972 at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

Surprisingly, weeks after the spotless giraffe calf's birth, another all-brown giraffe calf was spotted in the wild in Nambia.

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