Super-rare pink baby elephant spotted playing in South African watering hole

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Adorable footage shows a rare pink baby elephant playing in a South African waterhole.

Safari operator Theo Potgieter spotted the albino elephant, thought to be around a year old, splashing and rolling around with a fellow youngster at Kruger National Park.

He told Live Science: ‘It is always a privilege to be able to witness these extremely rare and special animals.’

He said it was the second time he’d seen an albino elephant calf recently.

The albino calf is thought to be around one (Picture: Theo Potgieter)
The calf wrestles with another youngster (Picture: Theo Potgieter)

Some species of animal can shun babies born with albinism, a genetic condition that stops the body’s production of melanin, but Theo said this didn’t appear to be the case with the two calves he’d witnessed.

‘In both recent sightings of two different individuals the rest of the herd seemed to be very protective and patient with the presence of these young individuals,’he explained.

Creatures with albinism who are avoided by their peers include catfish, while albino alligators are often eaten by other alligators before they reach adulthood.

The condition can also affect an animal’s eyesight, due to a lack of pigment in their irises, which in turn can limit their ability to forage or hunt for food.

The two calves playing around in the water hole (Picture: Theo Potgieter)
Theo Potgieter said the herd appeared protective of their albino infant (Picture: Theo Potgieter)

Their fair skin meanwhile, means it’s not always easy to camouflage themselves from potential predators.

For albinism to happen both parents must carry a recessive gene.

According to Potgieter, the condition ‘only occurs once in every 10,000 births’ of mammals in the wild.

Last year footage revealed a rare sighting of the world’s only known albino panda.

The all-white bear was filmed by a motion-activated camera crossing through a vast nature reserve in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province.

It’s only the third recorded sighting of the animal, which was photographed as a cub in May 2019 and filmed in 2020 by similar devices in the area.

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